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READING AND SPELLING,
SIMPLE RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS
AVOIDING COMMON ERRORS.
BY SAMUEL WORCESTER,
AUTHOR OF A PRIMER, A SECOND BOOK FOR READING AND SPELLING, A FIRST BOOK
F GEOGRAPHY, THE YOUNG ASTRONOMER, A SPELLING BOOK FOR
BOOK OF ENGLISH GRAMMAR.
Sirteenth 25 dition.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, bv
CARTER, HENDEE, & Co. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
A PRIMER and a SECOND BOOK FOR READING AND SPELL ING, by the author of this Third Book, have been favorably received by the public. As no other work has appeared, suited to follow the SECOND Book, no apology will be thought necessary for this attempt to supply the well-known deficiency.
Twenty years ago we had several reading books in our schools, which contained a few rules, placed at the beginning or end. The lessons for reading contained no references to these rules, and they were never so combined with the lessons as to be of any practical utility. Later compilations contain no rules or instructions in Reading. In almost every art and science, it is found useful to combine written instruction with oral, and no good reason appears for dispensing with either, in teaching children how to read.
Reading is the art of converting written language into speech. In teaching this art, our first instructions are necessarily oral; but after the scholar is able to read intelligibly, he may be as much assisted by written instructions, as in studying Grammar or Arithmetic. This is found to be true with those who are far enough advanced to study treatises on Rhetorical Reading; and those who have studied these works, well know that they consist, in a great degree, of instructions for avoiding certain common errors, which can as well be pointed out to children as to adults. They are also aware, that these errors would have been more easily corrected, if they had received suitable notice at an earlier age.
Good teachers endeavor to correct these faults at the proper time, that is, when they are first committed ; but their instructions, though repeated hundreds of times, need the aid of writing, that they may be presented in a permanent form to the eye of the scholar, and then receive the teacher's illustrations and sanction. It is thus that we teach other things, and we may thus teach Reading.
Only those rules and instructions should be presented to children, which children can understand ; and those which are given in this book, are such as good teachers give orally. They are presented in such order, and are so adapted to the lessons, and combined with them, that they are given as a teacher would give them, where they are needed. A series of rules and instructions, standing by themselves, and not referred to in the reading lessons, would be worse than useless ; but it is believed that no scholar, who is old enough to read these lessons, can study any one of them faithfully, and receive the same share of assistance from his teacher that he does in other lessons, without acquiring a truly practical knowledge of Reading, which other books and other modes of instruction do not give.
This may, perbaps, appear more credible to the critic, if he consid ers that most of the words and phrases in which errors ir Reading occur, are capable of being classed, and that they have been classed by Walker, Russell, and others. Several years ago I attempted an abridgment of Walker's Rhetorical Grammar, and prepared that part of it which I have now had occasion to-use. Mr. Russell very kindly gave me permission to use his excellent Lessons in Enunciation, in preparing this work ; and I have taken the liberty of adopting and teaching Dr. Barber's principles in relation to reading such words in poetry, as are usually contracted and printed with an apostrophe. For many things which I esteem very valuable, I am indebted to my personal friends; and for what I have not here acknowledged, I have drawn from such resources as I have acquired by being engaged for more than twenty years in the instruction of children.
It will appear strange to many, that so small a part of the Lessons in this book, have been taken from English authors. We not unfrequently hear or see the works of Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Edgeworth spoken of as constituting nearly all the good composition for children, that our language affords. The author has rejected both : the former, because he regards the style as unnatural, and in bad taste; the latter, because the Sacred Scriptures are not made the rule of duty, and because the stories are already too common. That a better style than Miss Edgeworth's prevails in this work, is not supposed ; but most of the lessons have the honor of being American, and have the merit of deriving their morals from the Word of the Lord.
To the Editor of the Juvenile Miscellany the author's grateful acknowledgments are due, for the privilege of making selections from that valuable work. Some of the articles thus selected, have been wate rially altered, to adapt them to the particular purposes of this book. Neither the Editor, nor the writers of these articles, are to be considered responsible for any faults which they now contà in.
The author is aware that the character of this work is very different from any that is now in use. The plan is wholly unlike those which he has seen, or knows to have been presented. The book differs, perhaps, as much from those which are now used by claildren of 10 or twelve years of age, as his PRIMER differed from the works which were formerly used for teaching the first elements of Reading and Spelling. Those persons who notice the imitations of the PRIMER which abound in all our - bookstores, will believe the author sincere when he expresses the hope, that, whether the plan and execution of this Third Book be for honor and profit, or for shame and loss, his claims will by all be acknowledged and remembered