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ASTAR, LONG AND
R 142 E
ENTERED, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1836, D GEORGE Willson, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Northern District of New-York.
In the course of several years' employment as an instructer of youth, the Compiler has had occasion to examine most of the many reading-books published in this country for the use of the more advanced pupils in our public schools. Although the selections are, in the main, of great excellence as literary productions, and unexceptionable in their moral tendency, he has thought most of them deficient in other requisites of equal importance for the purpose intended. Among these deficiencies, is the want of systematic instructions as to the proper manner of reading, and of suitable exercises in what may be termed the elements of the art, as articulation, inflection, emphasis, &c. Such instructions, if there have been any at all, have usually been inserted in a part of the book, where they were never studied by the pupils, and but rarely consulted by the teacher.
In the present compilation, the rules and exercises designed to guide the learner to a correct manner and just taste in reading, are embodied in regular lessons, and placed at the beginning of the book.
With a view to add to the interest of this book, and thereby engage the attention of the scholar, variety in the subjects selected has been particularly studied. The besetting fault of readers is monotony; a manner almost sure to be induced and confirmed by the continued reading of any one kind of style or subject. This tendency to mechanical vocal habits, can be counteracted only by judicious instruction, and by the utmost variety in the style and character of the pieces read.
The objection of most weight against many of the readingbooks now in use is, that they are unsuited to the age, taste, and attainments of learners. If we take, for example,