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ENTERED according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845, by
THOMAS L. BONSAL, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvanin.
It has long been an opinion of the author of the following lessons, that while children are learning the art of reading, they might as well be acquiring a knowledge of things ;-things that will be useful to them in after-life.
Although much advancement has been made in the improvement of school-books and others for the use of children and young people, yet the object of furnishing them with a familiar knowledge of natural things, interspersed with moral lessons, in a series of reading exercises, appears to have been too much neglected.
It was a wise observation of William Penn, that “the first thing obvious to children, is, what is sensible.” Again, he says, “ We press their memory too soon, and load them with words and rules that may never be useful to them; leaving their genius to natural knowledge uncultivated and neglected ;-which would be of great use and pleasase to them through the whole course of their lives."
" It is pity, therefore,” says he, “that books have not been composed for youth, to be read in schools, by which they might learn things with words ;-things obvious and familiar to them."
In accordance with these views, the author and compiler of the ensuing work has endeavoured to present the young reader with i variety of subjects that may be obvious to his senses ;-emrracing a knowledge of things natural and artificial, and rendered
a style and language adapted to his capacity and undertanding.
Cowper says “Variety's the spice of life;" and the intermixire of subjects, natural, moral, scientific and historical, may fur
nish a relish and stimulus even to children in their reading lessons.
Care has been exercised to avoid many difficult and technical words and phrases; and also to give the descriptions of subjects in plain, simple language, suitable for children who are just rising from the spelling book to a higher class.
It will therefore be understood that this work is intended to follow the author's Spelling and Reading Book, lately published by Thomas L. Bonsal.
Yet, that the important object of correct orthography may be kept steadily in view, as an essential to correct reading,—the more difficult words in each lesson are selected and placed at the bottom of the page, as an exercise of spelling and occasional defining, after each lesson has been read. The defining of words may be increased, at the option of the teacher, especially with children reading in classes.
The exercise of spelling and defining the words, forms a prominent object of children's "getting their lessons," so as to be able to spell out of book every word contained in them; and also, by the help of a Dictionary, to give their definitions.
Questious to exercise the pupils in the knowledge of things, or subjects contained in the ensuing Reading lessons, are addeď in an appendix. In the list of Promiscuous Questions, children may amuse
one another by selecting and giving out interro. gations for each other to answer.
In making out the following work, numerous authors have been consulted, and various sources of information carefully searched. With due acknowledgment to preceding writers and compilers, the author dedicates this to the rising youth, and to the patrons of rational and useful education.
JOHN COMLY. Byberry, 2d mo. 1st., 1845.