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Just published, in 5 vols. fcp. 8vo. price 10s. cloth, each of which
Volumes may be had separately as below,
THE GRADUATED SERIES
WITH EXPLANATORY NOTES; Adapted, as a Progressive Course of Reading, for all Classes of English Schools and Families :
s. d. FIRST BOOK, comprising 192 Pages
, difficulty of the Exercises is graduated chiefly with reference to the mental capacity requisite to comprehend and grasp the information conveyed ; and also, as far as possible, with reference to the peculiarities of grammatical construction. The object of the Series is no less to facilitate the acquisition of the art of reading than to form a pupil's taste, and to tempt him to pursue his studies voluntarily. The five books are arranged, each in corresponding sections, on a serial and uniform scheme. Book I. price ls. consists of rhymes and fireside tales, fables and parables, and short simple stories, adapted to the comprehension of children who have mastered the first steps in reading. Book II. price Is. 6d. contains miscellanies, tales of adventure, imaginative and real, anecdotes in natural history, and ballad poetry-all preliminary to the Third Book. Book III. price 28. comprises literary selections in prose and verse, descriptive travel, natural history (with reference to the previous section), and landmarks of English History. Book IV. price 2s. hid., to which the Third Book is introductory, is a further extension of the same general plan, with the addition of a division on the more popular branches of Natural Science and Physics, sequentially arranged. Book V. price 3s. which completes the course, aims at answering the practical purposes of a Class-Book of later English Literature.
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Graduated Series of English Reading-Books.
words and constructions. A sentence which may be uttered and grammatically analysed with great facility, may present a very hard problem to the intellect. This is a consideration of the utmost consequence. In graduating the lessons of the present series, the Editor has bad reference, not only to their verbal and grammatical peculiarities, but also to the general calibre of mind requisite to understand and appreciate the ideas which they express. As to the subjectmatter he has been guided by no arbitrary standard, but by a wish to present to juvenile readers that kind of intellectual food which experience has declared to be suitable for the various stages of growth to which the volumes separately address themselves.
Most of the present reading-lessons either consist of plain compendious outlines of some of the departments of art and the branches of natural science, or they abound in abstract essays and rhetorical or poetical common-places. With reference to the former, the distinction between general information and special instruction in matters of fact, which is of a purely didactic nature, has not hitherto been steadily kept in view. It has been too often forgotten that the communication of tbis sort of knowledge, however useful it may be, is secondary in importance to the cultivation of a taste for reading, and to the training of the power and the habit of independent thinking and observation. But it is beginning to be recognised, that one of the most infallible ways of creating a distaste for inquiry into the construction and phenomena of the material universe, is to burden the mind with a mass of technical facts; that such facts are not necessarily wholesome food merely because they bear upon subjects which are familiar to every one; and that the question whether they are available in an educational point of view, must always depend on the form and style in which they are presented to the intellect, and on the relation in which they stand to antecedent knowledge. Again, the range of thought to which abstract and rhetorical extracts appeal is generally wider and deeper than a youth can compass. It is obvious that the pupil should be made to read of things which awaken bis sympathy, not of things which lie beyond the sphere of his sympathy. In short, the joint elements of intelligibility and attractiveness are in. dispensable in every reading-lesson.
The charge of encouraging desultory and immethodical thinking is frequently and with justice preferred against the employment of books of miscellaneous extracts for educational purposes. A strenuous endeavour has been made by the Editor of the Graduated Series to obviate this charge. He has by no means attempted to exhaust subjects systematically: but he has striven so to select and arrange, that each lesson will either prepare the way for something which fol. lows, or throw additional light on something which goes before. In other words, be has throughout aimed at a certain continuity in the treatment of topics. Beginning with sketches, which rouse rather than gratify the appetite, he has endeavoured to lead the pupil, by gradations as imperceptible as possible, to a somewhat deliberate and special survey of the great departments of human knowledge, and to an approximate estimate of their relations and proportions.
While most of the selections have been carefully abridged, and otherwise adapted for the present series, the peculiarities of thought and expression of the originals have been retained ; and, for obvious reasons, any effort to originate directions for emphasis, modulation, &c. has been considered superfluous. In this stage of advancement, such directions at once discourage individual effort on the part of the reader, and deprive the teacher of a valuable test for measuring the comparative capacities of his pupils : they are therefore diametrically opposed to the aim and object of reading.
A full account of the Five Reading Books composing this Series will be found at the end of the present volume. A more detailed analysis of the Editor's plan, in connexion with the Contents of each of the Five Books, accompanied by some observations on the method of teaching the art of reading in use in English Schools, is given in the Explanatory PROSPECTUS of the Graduated Series of Reading-Lesson Books, which may be had gratis of all Booksellers and free of postage on application to Messrs. LONGMAN and Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London.
London : LONGMAN, GREEN, and Co. Paternoster Row