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out which no advanced Reader would be complete, the selections are such as have never before appeared in a schoolbook, and have been secured for this volume by special arrangement with authors and publishers. The works of some of our most popular writers — as Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier — are well known to schools, and very generally accessible for supplementary reading; otherwise, a single selection from each would not have been deemed sufficient.

In this Reader the idea made prominent in the earlier numbers of the seriesthat of learning to read by much readingis still maintained. Many of the articles are long-much longer than the selections ordinarily found in books of the same class

—thus avoiding the too common error of presenting for study mere fragmentary excerpts, the incompleteness of which renders them uninteresting and unsatisfactory. No attempt has been made to divide the work into “lessons,” or to indicate the limits of any single recitation; these are matters which must be controlled by the capabilities of the pupils and the amount of time devoted to the exercise of reading.

The arrangement of paragraphs as originally made by the authors has not been disturbed for the purpose of indicating the amount of matter convenient for a single reading; but teachers will readily appreciate the use of the small marginal figures on each page, which are intended to serve as a species of landmark in the study of the lesson and to supersede the usual arbitrary method of numbering each successive paragraph.

The Notes at the end of the volume are intended to be both helpful and suggestive. Those on the earlier lessons are much fuller than those which follow-indicating methods and suggesting lines of study which teachers and pupils are afterwards left to pursue independently. The biographical notes, which are continued to the end, will prove valuable in connection with any study of American literature; and the suggestions for additional reading are intended to assist teachers and pupils in the selection of good reading matter, and to aid in pointing the way to a more extensive knowledge and appreciation of some of the best works in our language. Other features which characterize this Reader and distinguish it from similar works of its class will be readily apparent to teachers, and need not here be enumerated.

This volume has been prepared and edited throughout by James Baldwin, Ph.D., whose eminent fitness for the task was readily recognized by the publishers in the result of his work upon the preceding volumes of this series, which have met with universal favor as text-books of more than ordinary merit.

Valuable assistance in reading the final proofs, etc., was rendered by Mr. E. D. Farrell, of the New York City schools.

The publishers desire to acknowledge their obligations to the authors and publishers named below for their kind permission to use valuable copyright articles in this volume : Charles C. Abbott, George Bancroft, John Burroughs, George W. Cable, Robert Collyer, Christopher Pearse Cranch, George William Curtis, Daniel Draper, Mrs. Annie Fields, Lafcadio Hearn, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, William Dean Howells, Lucy Larcom, Herman Melville, Joaquin Miller, Mrs. Olive Thorne Miller, Donald G. Mitchell, J. L. Stackpole, T. T. Munger, Richard O'Gorman, John Boyle O'Reilly, Francis Parkman, Minot J. Savage, Edmund C. Stedman, Mrs. Elizabeth Stoddard, R. H. Stoddard, M. C. Tyler, Lew. Wallace, Charles Dudley Warner, Walt Whitman, J. G. Whittier, Robert Burns Wilson, Constance Fenimore Woolson ; Messrs. D. Appleton & Co., New York, publishers of Bancroft's “ History of the United States”; Messrs. Lee & Shepard, Boston, publishers of Collyer's “ Talks to Young Men”; Messrs. J. B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, publishers of “ Poems of Paul H. Hayne,” Prescott's “ Conquest of Mexico,” Schoolcraft's Works, and “Poems of Frank 0. Ticknor”; Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., Boston, publishers of Parkman's Works; Messrs. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, publishers of Irving's Works, and Tyler's “History of American Literature”; Messrs. Roberts Brothers, Boston, publishers of Judd's “ Margaret,” the works of Helen Jackson, and the poems of Joaquin Miller; Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, publishers of the works of George W. Cable, J. G. Holland, Sidney Lanier, Donald G. Mitchell, and R. H. Stoddard.

The selections from the works of John Burroughs, C. P. Cranch, R. W. Emerson, James T. Fields, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 0. W. Holmes, W. D. Howells, Lucy Larcom, H. W. Longfellow, J. R. Lowell, Olive Thorne Miller, T. T. Munger, Bayard Taylor, H. D. Thoreau, E. P. Whipple, and J. G. Whittier are used by permission of and arrangement with Houghton, Mifflin & Co., publishers, Boston, Mass.


Franklin Square, New York.


Good oral reading is the correct rendering of the thoughts and feelings expressed on the printed or written page. It is an accomplishment quite distinct from the art of the elocutionist, and hence it is not acquired through precisely the same processes.

To become a good reader, patient and long-continued practice is necessary. The natural method of learning to read is by reading much and carefully, rather than by the study of rules of inflection, emphasis, and the like.

To read well it is imperatively necessary that the reader shall grasp the idea intended to be conveyed by the printed or written word, and shall enter into sympathy with the thoughts and feelings which are designed to be expressed.

The words should be so distinctly uttered that the listener shall be able, without effort, to hear every syllable and to distinguish every intonation of the voice. But too loud reading, which invariably induces strained, harsh, or discordant tones, should be carefully guarded against and avoided.

Not only should the reader himself comprehend that which he reads, but his expression of the thought, as he interprets it from the printed page, should be so clear and forcible that the listener shall not only hear the words, but shall without difficulty comprehend their meaning.

Nor is it enough that the reader shall be both heard and understood. The statements and ideas of the author should be so finely rendered that both he who reads and he who hears shall clearly perceive and fully appreciate their beauty, their truthfulness, or their aptitude. The emotions which influenced the author while composing the selection are thus interpreted by the reader to the hearer, and both are alike moved by them.



The means of acquiring the ability to read well, through the assistance of this text-book, may be briefly designated as fol- lows:

1st. To grasp the idea: Study the selection as a whole; then study each paragraph and each sentence in detail. Refer to the Notes at the end of the volume. Refer to the dictionary for the meaning of every word not already clearly understood. Study carefully every peculiar mode of expression, and try to interpret the author's meaning in sentences of your own. Study the style of each author, and compare it with that of other authors previously studied.

2d. To enter into sympathy with the thoughts expressed : Be sure that you have grasped the idea. Study every allusion made by the author, and try, if possible, to understand all the circumstances connected with the production of the selection.

3d. To be heard: Practice reading aloud to yourself. Study the correct pronunciation of each new word. Should any word or combination of letters be difficult of articulation, practice pronouncing it until it can be spoken promptly, accurately, and without special effort. Sit or stand with the head erect and the chest expanded, and endeavor to acquire the habit of breathing easily, freely, and naturally while reading.

4th. To be understood : First, be sure that you yourself understand. Remember that reading is but conversing from a book, and avoid all inflections or intonations which would seem strained or unnatural in conversation. Imagine yourself in the place of the listener, and ask yourself whether you would understand if you had not the printed page before you.

5th. To enter into fuller sympathy with the thoughts expressed, and to cause the hearer to be moved by them: Be sure that all the preceding conditions have been fulfilled. Have in mind the beauty, the truthfulness, the appropriateness of that which you read. Forget yourself in the expression of the thoughts which you are interpreting. Thus, and thus only, is it possible for one to become A GOOD READER.

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