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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States,

for the Northern District of Illinois.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States,

for the Northera District of Illinois,


The feeling is very general that the pupils of our schools ought to be taught to read understandingly and effectively; · and this feeling we consider reasonable and just.

But it is the almost universal conviction that this very desirable result is seldom attained by the methods that have been most commonly employed in the schools.

This book has been prepared with the single design of furnishing the pupils of our high schools, and of the highest level 12.1€ -classes in the common schools in the country, and in the ne? grammar schools in our cities, with such help as will enable them to attain this result. It does not aim to present a com. [ pendium of English literature, nor to disclose the facts and principles of any other science or art. Its sole purpose is to teach young persons to appreciate and to read good English.

Reading is not only the key to all knowledge; it is also, when properly taught, a direct means of the most thorough mental discipline, bringing the mind, as it does, into contact with the noblest thoughts uttered in the language.

It is assumed by the compiler that the thought and emotion contained in every selection read in school should be, thoroughly mastered by the pupils :

for everyone First, because thus only can the amount of mental discipline be secured which the reading exercise ought to afford;

Secondly, because such a mastery is essential to a proper rendering of the piece by the voice.

due ne vreandome damai

pay the accomplishment a tú, end Pang is concht

the a com


awkwaro This end is sought to be accomplished by a careful C a nalysis of the selections by means of questions. These

questions may be considered as of three kinds :

1. Questions on the general scope of the piece and on the

meaning of clauses and sentences ; Yuhy not.

2. Questions on the etymology and meaning of words; -2713. Questions on the emphases, inflections, quality of voice, &c., required to express the ascertained thought and emotion

For the purpose of illustrating this, six of the selections, representing as many different classes of composition, are analyzed at length in the book. The questions in these analyses, although somewhat (minute, are yet by no means exhaustive. They are intended to indicate the kind, rather than the extent, of the work which the teacher is to do.

The selections in the book have been made with great care, and are believed to be well adapted to their purpose. Many of them are marked by high excellence as literary

productions; many breathe a spirit of lofty patriotism; many bare fitted to charm by their beauty; some are calculated to

amuse while they instruct; and all, it is thought, are within the pale of good taste. Some are well known, and are inserted on account of their unwaning merit; many are new and not at all inferior to the older and better known.

Copious notes are appended, which will be found useful in the explanation of biographical, historical, and other allu

sions. They have been written with care, and aim to give, Drence

s, in a small compass, as much as possible of what is worth

remembering. Where access can be had to reference books, these notes may be extended by the pupil. Or the teacher may impart additional information on the subjects of them,

— provided the pupils are required to remember and reproduce what is thus imparted.

book whateverer desires tone firms for

The article on the phonic analysis of the language is believed to be more thorough, accurate, and philosophical than articles on that subject usually are. And the compiler takes pleasure in accrediting it to Professor Thomas Metcalf, of the Illinois Normal University, whose assistance in the preparation of that article, and in a careful reading of the proof-sheets, has been of great value in imparting to the book whatever of merit it has.

The compiler desires to express his acknowledgments to various authors and publishing firms for the permission, kindly granted, to make selections from their works. Among these there is especial reason for mentioning William Cullen Bryant, G. P. Putnam and Charles Scribner, of New York; George W. Childs, of Philadelphia ; 0. D. Case & Co., of Hartford ; Mrs. Mary Mann, of Cambridge; and Ticknor & Fields, Crosby & Ainsworth, and Gould & Lincoln, of Boston.

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