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of its own, of which it need not be ashamed ;fathers, and heroes, and sages, of its own, whose deeds and praises are worthy of being “said or sung" by even the mighty masters of the lay,"—and with whose deeds and praises, by being made familiar in our childhood, we shall be not the less qualified to act well our part, as citizens of a republic. Our country, both physically and morally, has a character of its own. Should not something of that character be learned by its children while at school ? Its mountains, and prairies, and lakes, and rivers, and cataracts,—its shores and hill-tops, that were early made sacred by the dangers, and sacrifices, and deaths, of the devout and the daring—it does seem as if these were worthy of being held up, as objects of interest, to the young eyes that, from year to year, are opening upon them, and worthy of being linked, with all their sacred associations, to the young affections, which, sooner or later, must be bound to them, or they must cease to be-what they now are—the inheritance and abode of a free people.
It has been my object to make this book-what it is called—a National Reader. By this I do not mean that it consists, entirely, of American productions, or that the subjects of the different lessons are exclusively American. I do not understand that a national spirit is an exclusive spirit. The language of pure moral sentiment, the out-pourings of a poetical spirit, the lessons of genuine patriotism, and of a sublime and catho lic religion,-let them have proceeded from what source they may,-not. a few pieces, especially, which have long held a place in English compilations,- I have adopted freely into this collection, and believe that I have enriched it by them. I trust that there will be found in it not a line or a thought, that shall offend the most scrupulous delicacy, or that shall give any parent occasion to tremble for the morals of either a son or a daughter; and I hope that a regard for my own interest, if no higher consideration, may have prevented my being unmindful of that section of the late law of this commonwealth, which provides, that no committee of a public school shall ever“ direct any school books to be purchased, or used in any of the schools under their superintendence, which are calculated to favour any particular religious sect or tenet.”
In regard to rules or directions for reading, the same considerations which prevented my filling up any part of the American First Class Book with them, have induced me to introduce none of them into this collection" of exercises. Three things only are required to make a good reader. He must read so that what he reads shall, in the first place, be heard ; in the second, that it shall be understood; and, in the third, that it shall be felt. If a boy has voice, and intelligence, and taste enough to do all this, then, under the personal guidance and discipline of a teacher who can read well, he will learn to read well; but if he has not, he may study rules, and pore over the doctrine of cadences and inflections, till " chaos come again,". he will never be a good reader.
In the humble hope that this compilation may contribute something to the accomplishing of the young, in this country, in the art of reading and speaking well,--something to the improvement of their taste, the cultivation of their moral sense and religious affections, and, thus, something to their preparation for an honourable discharge of their duties in this life, and for "glory, honour, and immortality," in the life that is to come, I submit it to the disposal of the public, and ask for it only the favour of which it may be thought worthy. Boston, June, 1827.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
LESSONS IN PROSE.
The names of American authors are in small capitals.
LESSONS IN POETRY.
8. Paraphrase of the Nineteenth Psalm.
.. Addison 23
.. Hnukesworth. 24
27 The Fall of the Leaf..
. Milonov, translated by Bouring. 54
• Anonymor:S. 60
. Anon. 62
.... Anon 70
.Mrs. Hemans 71
INDEX OF AUTHORS.
The names of American authors are in Italic.
.6, 8, 34. Jefferson, Thomas...... .16, 52
.29, 45. Johnson, Dr. Samuel ...30, 33.
Longfellow, H. W.
.75. 42, 51, 61, 68.
Nealand Robertson(abridged) 107.
Pierpont, J. .113, 129, 132
Republican, Nat. (Cincinnati)..15.
Reriew, London Quarterly...46.
and Neal(abridged) 107.
Sprayue, Charles .
Statesman, New York
Upham, T. C....
Webster, D.130, 131, 135, 136, 137.