« PreviousContinue »
FOR EXERCISES IN READING,
STANDARD BRITISH AND AMERICAN AUTHORS,
IN PROSE AND VERSE.
FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES.
BY B. D. EMERSON,
PUBLISHED BY HOGAN & THOMPSON,
No. 30, NORTH FOURTH STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1833,
By B. D. EMERSON, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts
STEREOTYPED BY LYMAN TAURSTON & CO.
The design of preparing a series of School Readers, adapted to the advanced state of literature and science, was suggested to the author, more than two years since, by a friend * of well known literary taste, and celebrity as a teacher; and it was undertaken with the condition of receiving his coöperation. Since which time, it has been the continued object of their attention during their leisure hours; and whatever degree of merit or responsibility the volumes shall be found to possess, must be divided between the author and his friend.
No small amount of labor and research has been devoted to this undertaking; and the principles which have governed in making the compilation demanded nothing less. To select such matter, as is, in all respects, proper to compose a Reading Manual for Youth, will be acknowledged a task of much importance and no little delicacy. Purity of sentiment, blended with that which may inform the understanding, while at the same time it interests the heart, is indispensable. The fascinations of melody and rhythm, 'the sounding period and the well turned line,' are often to be resisted, in order to comply with the rigid construction of this rule. In a word, each extract should contain some useful truth, either of a moral or scientific nature, something of more importance than the mere amusement of a passing hour.
* Mr. John Frost of Philadelphia.
The style also of these selections has been the subject of assiduous attention. Correctness and variety have been sought for. But, as this is a matter of taste, to be referred to the ultimate standard of taste, the common sense of the public, it would be unbecoming to say more, than that the compilers have used their best endeavors to guard against all reasonable objection on this score. The authors from whom they have selected, will generally be found to have already received the seal of public approbation, as classics of the English language.
It has been the aim of the compilers to give every lesson a degree of unity and completeness; so that it might be rather a whole, than a fragment. Mere detached sentences, the understanding of which presupposes an acquaintance with their preceding and subsequent connections, have been studiously rejected; for the obvious reason, that scholars cannot be expected to derive improvement from the reading of exercises they do not understand.
The above remarks will sufficiently show the character intended to be given to the work. How far that character has been attained, is, with feelings of profound deference, referred to the tribunal of public on nion.
B. D. E.
Boston, Sept. 1833
TABLE OF CONTENTS.