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We take occasion to repeat here some of the introductory remarks contained in the Third Reader.

I. We suggest that the reading-class should repeatedly go through with the "Elements of Elocution," not only by reading aloud the examples, but by selecting daily, at the beginning or close of each reading exercise, and from whatever sources they choose, examples illustrating some one Rule or Note.

II. As the more difficult words in each reading lesson are defined at its close, and in that particular sense in which they are used in the passages referred to, these definitions may be made to contribute greatly to a correct knowledge of the lesson read. To this end the lesson should always be studied in advance by the pupil, who, after reading a verse, should explain these more difficult words by substituting in their places either the definitions given, or such terms of his own selection as may answer the same purpose. The benefits of this defining exercise to pupils in this stage of advancement will not be inconsiderable; for, besides contributing to a better knowledge of the lessons read, it will cultivate a habit of reading understandingly, and also call particular attention to the meaning of nearly a thousand individual words in this Reader alone.

III. In the words defined, particular attention should be paid to their correct accentuation, and also to the correct sounds of the letters, as designated by the accompanying marks, which are explained by the Pronouncing Key on page 14. The pupil should be required to give the authority for the pronunciation of all the more difficult or uncommon words defined by reference to the Key; thus, ÄRCH'-IVES, "Italian sound of ❝, as in für, füther; e hard, like k; i long; and soft s, like z." This will compel a familiarity with the Key, and train the ear to nice distinctions of sounds, indispensable requisites in securing a cultivated elocutionary taste.

IV. As Part V., entitled NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, should be studied more than other portions of the book, we recommend to the teacher to require the class, when beginning this Reader, to read one lesson each week in Part V., and to study the lesson previously with considerable attention. A second reading, when the class comes to this Part in regular order, will be a profitable review.


raf. J. Henry Sencer

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.

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In this FOURTH READER, the leading plan of the "School and Family Readers," which is that of combining useful knowledge with instruction in reading, is more fully developed than in the Third Reader; and from the manner in which some of the departments of Natural Science are here treated, teachers may judge whether the plan is feasible or not, and how it will be likely to succeed when extended to the subjects embraced in the remaining three numbers of the series.

Teachers will observe that, while we have aimed to make the several divisions, or "Parts," in this Reader as instructive as possible, we have not lost sight of the importance of making them interesting also; and to this end we have introduced great variety in matter and manner, and illustrations which are valuable lessons in themselves.

For the sake of that regular gradation which is highly essential in School Readers, and to avoid introducing too much on any one subject in the same book, we have made two divisions each of Human Physiology, Botany, and Natural Philosophy, and have given only the first and easier portion of each subject in the present Reader. The second divisions will be contained in the Fifth Reader.

Zoology is here continued in the division entitled Ornithology, or Birds. For the beautiful illustrations in this part we are indebted to the same artist (Parsons) to whom we expressed our obligations for the admirable drawings of animals in the Third Reader.

In Part. IV., "Miscellaneous," we have given a few old standard pieces, because they are unsurpassed in merit, will be new to every succeeding generation, and have no superiors as reading exercises.

Part VI., entitled "Sketches from Sacred History," partially develops the plan which will be pursued in the Historical divisions of the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Readers.

I am indebted for valuable aid in the departments of Botany and Natural Philosophy to Professor N. B. Webster, of Virginia, by whom portions of those divisions and some original and very happy illustrations of philosophical principles were furnished. M. WILLSON,

NEW YORK, May 1st, 1860.


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