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Difficulties and Death of William III. 43
The principles which the compilers of these books have kept in view may be thus described :
(1.) To supply a large number of "working lessons," namely, lessons to serve as the basis for questioning and explanation, and to increase the reader's knowledge. The materials are therefore carefully selected, and trivial, frivolous subjects, and what has been termed “buffoonery," are purposely excluded.
(2.) To arrange the contents of each book in such a manner as to enable the reader to have a clear, connected, and tolerably complete view of every department of knowledge embraced in it. The lessons, therefore, do not stand without connexion with each other as to subject-matter, but are assigned to distinct sections, and these are, as far as possible, continued through the series. Thus the reader's order of thought is never confused, nor is his attention dissipated, by a variety of disconnected lessons. For example, the historical extracts are arranged chronologically in the Sixth Book in one section, and extend in point of time from the reign of Victoria back to that of William the Third. In the Fifth Book the extracts relate to a period extending from the reign of William the Third back to that of Henry the Sixth, and so on through other books in the series. It seems a good plan to invert the usual chronological order of historical extracts when they are to be read by those whose stay at School is short; thus the readers' attention will be first centred upon the history of the times nearest their own. This arrangement has been adopted in this book.
(3.) To place before the reader specimens of good English composition in prose and verse.
(4.) To supply a sufficient quantity of reading in each department of knowledge to enable pupils to acquire, if possible, permanent interest in it.
(5.) To introduce a sufficient number of difficulties in each book to raise constantly the reader's standard of thought and knowledge, and give him, so to speak, something to "work up to."
(6.) To supply (and this is the last-mentioned but not the least qualification) books which are strongly yet cheaply bound.
*** It is suggested that, however long or short the portion selected for
a reading lesson may be, the pupil should not leave it until each
uncommon word in it is understood. *** It is believed that this book will be found suitable in subject-matter
and arrangement to meet the requirements of scholars who advance beyond Standard VI. The Fifth Book will be found to contain some easy lessons on Social Matters.
*** In all the more advanced books in the series, the teacher sbould
select as much under each heading as he may think sufficient for a reading-lesson. No attempt is made by the compilers to do this.
HERE are three events in the reign of Her Majesty
Queen Victoria which especially attract the attention of the reader of English History. To begin with
the latest event, and to travel, as it were, backwards, we must notice, first, the Crimean War, from 1854 to 1856; second, the opening of the Great Exhibition of All Nations in Sir Joseph Paxton's Palace of Glass in Hyde Park, London, on the ist of May, 1851; and, third, the passing of the law of Free Trade in Corn in the year 1846. The effects of the Crimean War have not been so beneficial to our nation or to the world at large as the changes brought about by the other two events here mentioned. This statement must at once be plain to the least thoughtful reader; for who does not know that the arts of peace are greater blessings to the world than the horrors of war?
THE CRIMEAN WAR, A.D. 1854-6.
The peninsula of the Crimea is on the southern coast of Russia, and the chief and strongest place in it was Sebastopol. The established Church of Russia is the Greek Church, and for several years there had been, between Russia and Turkey, which latter is a Mahommedan country, a dispute about the right of protecting the “Holy Places” at Jerusalem, and especially about the possession of the key of the Church at Bethlehem. Russia, however, made this dispute an excuse for an attack upon the independence of Turkey as a power in Europe. She pushed her troops across the Pruth into Moldavia, which, with its neighbouring principality called Wallachia, she wished to hold. Then Turkey declared war. England and France, not willing to see Turkey oppressed, and wishing to preserve “the balance of