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FOURTH CLASS READER;
EXTRACTS IN PROSE AND VERSE,
FOR THE USE OF THE
TOURTH CLASSES IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.
AN INTRODUCTORY TREATISE ON READING AND THE TRAINING
OF THE VOCAL ORGANS.
By G. S. HILLARD.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, ly
GEORGE S. HILLARD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
The present work is intended for the use of the lowest classes in · our Grammar Schools, composed of children of ages varying from eight to ten years. It may be stated as a general rule in the preparation of reading books, that the difficulty of making selections is in proportion to the youthfulness and immaturity of those for whom they are intended. The more humble the function, at least in appearance, and to the common apprehension, the less easy it is to approach the standard of ideal excellence in the discharge of it. The range of selection in books intended for young children is limited, and at the same time it is of the greatest importance that what is laid before them should be as good as possible of its kind. Young children are generally impatient of direct moral teaching, coming in the form of didactic precepts; and moral instruction, in order to be profitable, should be communicated indirectly, by narratives illustrating some heroic virtue, or fine affection, or by biographical sketches of men eminent for their greatness and goodness. The compiler has been guided by this principle in making the selections for this work. The forty-seventh and fifty-eighth lessons — both from the trained and judicious pen of Mr. Jacob Abbott may be cited as excellent specimens of the kind of moral teaching suitable for children.
Several of the lessons in prose have been prepared by the compiler himself, in which it has been his aim to set down nothing which was not perfectly level to the capacity of the age for which the work was intended. Among them are those on the youth of Washington and Fianklin, on the Indians, on Pocahontas, and the three concluding