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SCIENCE AND LITERATURE,
COMPILED FROM POPULAR WRITERS:
COMPRISING A VOCABULARY OF SCIENTIFIC TERMS, AND A LIST OF THE
ROOTS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
By J. M. M'CULLOCH, D.D.,
Author of "A Manual of English Grammar," etc.
DR M'CULLOCH'S EDUCATIONAL WORKS.
FIRST READING-Book, 18mo, stiff wrapper, 11d.
Ditto, Large Type Edition, in two Parts, 2d. each. SECOND READING-Book, 18mo, stiff wrapper, 3d. THIRD READING-Book, 18mo, bound, 10d. FOURTH READING-Book, and a SYNOPSIS OF ENGLISH SPELLING. Fcap.
8vo, bound, 1s. 60. SERIES of LESSOns in Prose and Verse, 12mo, bound, 2s. COURSE of READING in Science and Literature, 12mo, bound, 3s. MANUAL of ENGLISH GRAMMAR, 18mo, bound, 18. 6d. PREFIXES and AFFIXEs of the English Language, 18mo, wrapper, 2ů. LESSONS from Dr M'CULLOCH'S FIRST READING-Book, printed with LARGE
TYPE, in a Series of Ten Sheets, for Hanging on the Wall, 1s mounted on Roller, 1s. 8d.
PRINTED BY OLIVER AND BOYD, EDINBURGH.
TO THE THIRTY-NINTH EDITION.
AFTER the lapse of upwards of thirty years from the date of its first publication, a Schoolbook, which bears the somewhat pretentious title of “A Course of Reading in Science and Literature," cannot but stand in need of many and very material alterations to keep its contents in harmony with the great advance in the subjects and methods of elementary education. Many topics, which were full of interest and instruction to schoolboys thirty years ago, have now become stale or obsolete; and several branches of knowledge, which were then rarely studied except in colleges, are now 80 popularized as to demand a place in ordinary schools.
An excusable reluctance to incommode Teachers by disturbing the text has perhaps too long restrained the Compiler from undertaking such necessary alterations. But it is the object of the present edition to readapt the Book to its title; and although the changes introduced amount to little short of an entire reconstruction of the Work, it is believed that no alterations on a less extensive scale would have sufficed to bring the whole contents into conformity with the progress of knowledge and the altered conditions of education.
As before, the greater part of the Book consists of lessons on Natural History and on the Physical Sciences. But in both departments extensive changes have been made, in order to render the lessons at once more con
secutive and more comprehensive. In the former department, a general sketch of the Three Kingdoms of Nature is followed up by separate lessons on Minerals, Plants, and Animals; and in the latter, an introductory explanation of the various Physical Forces is succeeded by a graduated course of reading on Mechanics, Chemistry, Heat, Electricity, and Light. A Vocabulary of Scientific Terms has been added for the use both of teachers and of pupils. And, to ensure the greatest acquirable correctness, the whole of the lessons have been submitted to the revision of gentlemen eminent for their attainments in science.
Among the subjects introduced for the first time are a series of lessons on the phenomena of Industrial Life, and a series on Language and Literature. The lessons on Geography and Astronomy are also, to some extent, new. Those on the subject of Religion embrace a wider range than their predecessors. And the Miscellaneous lessons have been so modified as to supply a greater amount and variety of interesting and agreeable reading.
In the Poetical department, many pieces have been retrenched to make room for others of a later date; and, with the view of enabling the pupil to note and appreciate characteristic diversities of genius and style, specimens are given, in chronological order, of all our great poets from Spenser to Tennyson, along with examples of the manner in which the same subject is handled by different poets.
The Diagrams and other Pictorial Embellishments have been transferred from the Appendix to those parts of the text which they are designed to illustrate.
The copious List of Latin and Greek Roots, which has always formed a distinctive feature of the Book, has been carefully revised and somewhat enlarged.
Considering the number and variety of the topics embraced in the Work, it will scarcely be expected that any one of them should be exhaustively treated. Nor has this been aimed at. It is thought that the plan of furnishing the pupil with a complete synopsis of some particular science or sciences is less favourable to his mental progress than that which stimulates without forestalling his curiosity, by opening up to him broad and general views of the whole region of knowledge. Provided the information given him is exact and accurate so far as it goes, it does not seem necessary, at least during the earlier stages of his studies, that it should be also complete and minute. And as the design of all elementary teaching is rather to rouse and develop the mental powers than to store the mind with facts, so the Lesson-books best adapted to their end are those which serve to create in the pupil a taste and relish for further study, and to send him from school with the desire and purpose to press on towards higher attainments.
To the Writers whose names are appended to the various Lessons, some apology is perhaps due for the liberties which have very often been taken in abridging, simplifying, and otherwise altering their productions. But as these changes have been made solely for the purpose of adapting the selections to the practical business of education, or of bringing their statements into more strict accordance with recent discoveries, it is hoped that they are only such as the Authors themselves would have introduced had their design been to supply a Manual of Elementary Reading.