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THE work to be done by the pupil is included under:

I. Biographical, historical, geographical, scientific, and literary allusions or references. The notes under this head are intended to suggest topics for discussion in the recitation, and the pupil is not required to study these, although he may read them with some profit.

II. Spelling and pronunciation. In the Appendix to this volume will be found suggested a method of teaching spelling by analysis. If preferred, the old method of oral or written spelling will suffice.

III. Language-lesson on the principles of written or printed language as found in the lesson. If carefully learned, the pupil will acquire a practical knowledge of grammatical forms, without the usual technicalities. He will learn to write and speak correctly. But the logic of language as given in technical grammar is not attempted here.

IV. Definitions, synonyms, and paraphrases, to be given by the pupil in his own language, i. e., in such words as he uses in every-day life, and not in words borrowed from the dictionary. He must find the words in the piece and study their connection with the rest, and give the special sense of the words as there used, not the general definition. This method will secure the most rapid mastery of a good vocabulary on the part of the pupil.

(Numbers II., III., and IV. are to be studied by the pupil, and he may be held responsible for the work required.)

V. Style and thought of the piece. The notes under this head should be read and discussed in the recitation, and they will answer a useful purpose in sharpening the pupil's faculty of criticism, even if the thoughts advanced are condemned and refuted.

It is evident that each selection from classic literature furnishes work enough for three, four, or five recitations. First, the pupil should learn the spelling, pronunciation, peculiarities of form, and meaning of the words in the lesson (II., III., IV.); second, the references and allusions made in the piece (I.); third, the thought and the style of expression (V.); fourth, the proper rendering of it as taught in the lessons on elocution.

The work here suggested is intended only as an auxiliary, and may be omitted for other topics presented by the teacher. Only a few hints are risked on the more important phases of each piece, and no attempt is made to exhaust the proper field of inquiry. It is safe to say that a thorough study of each literary piece in the higher Readers will be of more benefit to the pupil, in giving him an insight into human life, and directive power and influence among his fellow men, than all that he will or can learn from the other branches taught in the schools.



1. When I was a child, seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for one.

2. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth.

3. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and they laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with vexation.

4. This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, "Don't give too much for the whistle"; and so I saved my money.

5. As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

6. When I saw any one too ambitious of the favor of the great, wasting his time in attendance on public dinners, sacrificing his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, "This man gives too much for his whistle."

7. When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in politics, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, "He pays, indeed," said I, "too much for this whistle."

8. If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, "Poor man," said I, "you do indeed pay too much for your whistle."

9. When I met a man of pleasure, sacrificing the improvement of his mind, or of his fortune, to mere bodily comfort, "Mistaken man," said I, "you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure: you give too much for your whistle."

10. If I saw one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine horses, all above his fortune, for which he contracted debts, and ended his career in prison, "Alas!" said I, "he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle."

11. In short, I believed that a great part of the miseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.

Adapted from Benjamin Franklin.

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