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In making choice of lessons for exercises in reading, it has been the aim to introduce those of that character, whicn might serve to impart practical instruction, awaken interest, excite inquiry, and inspire pure, virtuous, and noble sentiments. While this object has constantly been kept in view, another of equal importance has not been lost. sight of, which is, that they possess a pure and chaste style, as well as elegance of expression.
The monotonous method of reading, so often acquired in consequence of reading successive lessons which present one uniform style, such as historical and the like, has led to the adoption in the present work of that variety, which is calculated to prevent the acquisition of such a sameness, and afford the greater pleasure to the reader. The prevalence of the colloquial style, which characterizes the former numbers, has also been regardled in the present.
Experience has fully shown that the most ready and judicious means of imparting a knowledge of the meaning and use of words, consist in giving their signification in connection with their use in a well formed
Those words, therefore, of each lesson, the import of which is not already understood, are previously defined, generally, according to their use in the sentence in which they are employed. Also those worus, whose correct orthoepy miglit be mistaken, are divided into syllables, and their true pronunciation pointed out.
The notation, adopted in the elementary part, has, to some extent, been carried out in the lessons for reading, especially in instances where there might be a liability to err in regard to the true inflection and the like, and in such portions as were peculiarly illustrative of some elementary principle.
The principal object had in view throughout the work, has been to render ii in every respect a book calculated to teach the art of rearling. Teachers will perceive, however, that the plan of instruction herein presented, is by no means designed to dispense with their efforts, but rather to facilitate thein.
The Fourth Book completes the proposed Series of School Reailers; and the very great favor, manifested by the put:lic in the ready approval and acceptance of the foriner numbers, has encouraged the Author to spare no efforts in endeavoring to render the present number equally acceptable and worthy of patronage.
The Author would take this opportunity to express his grateful acknowledgment for the many assurances, with which, from time to time, he has been favored on the part of those having the supervision of schools, and others interested in their welfare, chat his labors have proved acceptable. And should the present number be found calculated to subserve their interest, and promote the advancement of the great object for which it is designed, his desire and purposes will be fully realized.
New York, March, 1842.
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