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ON the early and proper education of youth depends, in a great measure, not only their own happiness, but that of their parents, their.friends, and posterity. If they be enlightened by the true and useful science, there is reason to hope they will be seen in after life, acting the dignified part of wisdom and virtue, and thereby rendering themselves ornaments to society and blessings to the world. But the opposite effects are certainly to be apprehended from an opposite source.
It is therefore of primary importance that our youth be early and well instructed; and in order to this, suitable books are essentially necessary ; and every one who contributes even "a mite" towards furnishing them, renders an important service to so ciety. Under the influence of this sentiment, and urged by frequent solicitation, the revision and enlargement of this little volume has been attempted; and, notwithstanding the incompetency of the agent, and his embarrassment through want of time for such an undertaking, he flutters himself, that something has been done for the interests of science, and the diffusion of useful and polite learning. This must be his apology (if he needs one) both for what he has undertaken, and for what he mayhave failed to accomplish.
The Arts and Sciences, by being wrap• ped up in the learned languages, and ''''. ■cured by a multitude of technical terms, have long been held beyond the reach and capacity, not only of youth in general, but of maturer years also; especially where the advantages of education have been limited. This epitome, however, will, it is hoped, bring them to the level of the most moderate capacity; and, without much expense, cither of time or money, furnish a toler. ably correct outline and general idea of all the principal branches of useful and polite Jiterature.
Should any inquire why we have not entered more fully into the different branches, 'or why some have been extended more than others, we answer—Our plan was to give outlines only, not minutiae; but, as our book is designed for the benefit of schools, and as there are several important branches of knowledge, upon which we have no other treatise than this for school use, we have ventured a little to expand some, whilst others of equal or even greater importance, have been proportionably contracted, both because we have them in other books, and because it was impossible to bring them at sufficient length into this.
This little volume will be found to contain information upon a great variety of pleasing and highly interesting subjects, well worthy the attention of youth in every walk of lifc, but must be peculiarly acceptable to thus*whose time at school is somewhat limucd, and whose leisure for reading is so contracted as to preclude an opportunity of their looking into larger works and more detailed systems of those things, of which not to know something, must, at this enlightened day, be considered as reproachful.