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PUBLIC LIBRARY 1.961404
ASTOR, LENOX AND
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,
BY A. L. BANCROFT & COMPANY,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
N preparing this volume, the Fourth in the Pacific
steadily in view the fact that the primary object of a course of reading is to learn to read. It comprehends, at once, a study of the language, as such, and its vocal expression as a rhetorical art. The inquiry of the author of a system of text-books on the subject should, therefore, be confined to the best means of securing these ends. Any attempt to do more than that, goes beyond the legitimate purpose of a School Reader, and tends to defeat it.
For this reason, the plan adopted by some authors, of making the Reader the vehicle of history and the natural sciences, cannot be sustained, and is rapidly falling into disfavor. If pupils study the matter presented as a treatise on science, their attention is necessarily withdrawn from the only proper subject in hand; if they do not, the chapter of science is simply thrown away. Then, again, scientific literature, abounding in hard names and more or less difficult principles, does not afford that scope and variety of selected matter obviously requisite in a text-book on Reading.
The fact is, Reading is a science in itself-comprehensive, difficult, and complete; an l it has suffered too much already from neglect and abuse, to be now burdened with the dead weight of other branches of learning, which have their appointed place and proper textbooks in our schools.