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the minds of the pupils choice specimens of our great writers. Very great care has been taken in the compilation of this volume to choose such extracts as will tend to interest and at the same time to instruct, and while many old favourites are retained-because though familiar to the teacher, they are new to the scholaryet a great number of the pieces, it is believed, will be found to appear in a book of this kind for the first time. By the use of a somewhat smaller type, the chief incidents of the whole of Sir Walter Scott's 'Lady of the Lake' have been inserted. The short extracts illustrative of the Seasons,” • Birds,’ Flowers,' &c. are presented in a novel manner, by the connecting prose remarks and explanations; and the “Trial Scene,' from Shakspeare's “Merchant of Venice,' is rendered more intelligible to the young, by the accompanying abridgment of Lamb's Essay on the Play, by which means the connecting links of the story are supplied.

The style and character of the extracts are very varied. Specimens are given of sacred and moral, descriptive, narrative, pathetic, dramatic, and comic poetry. A few of the pieces are printed in the prose form, in order that the children, by reading them in this manner, may learn to avoid the sing-song tone so often heard in the enunciation of verse.

One great aim of a selection of poetry for scholars should be to imbue those reading it with a desire to become further acquainted with the works of our standard poets; and it is hoped that in the following pages such extracts from each writer's productions are furnished as will (using the words of Sir Philip Sydney) 'not only show the way, but will give so sweet a prospect into the way, as to entice anyone to enter into it: nay, as if their journey should be through a

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fair vineyard, to give them at the very first a cluster of grapes; that, full of that taste, they may long to pass further.'

Independently of the above mentioned advantages of the use of poetry, its great importance, as a means of improving the quality of reading, cannot be overestimated, and ought to give it prominence as a part of instruction. The Rev. J. Blandford, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools, has said, 'In order to teach children to read well, the instructor must accustom them to read poetry more frequently than according to the general habit. If proper pieces were selected, they might be made the groundwork of admirable lessons, not only in the art of reading, but also in geography, grammar, history, &c.' To read poetry really well requires most careful and thorough instruction on the part of the teacher. The adoption of the following general rules is recommended :

1. The portion chosen for the lesson not to be more than can be thoroughly elucidated at the time.

2. The teacher should first read the piece with proper emphasis and correct expression, so as to give the pupils a general idea of its meaning.

3. All difficult words, phrases, and allusions should be clearly explained; a short biographical account of the writer given, &c. &c.

4. Each pupil should then read in turn, either the whole or a portion of the piece previously explained, after which the class should be questioned.

The pupils should be accustomed to commit pieces to memory (either in school or as home lessons), for the purpose of recitation. This exercise will be found most useful in helping to secure a good style of reading, in strengthening the memory of the learners, and

expanding their minds, by means of the store of words and ideas thus acquired.

Libraries connected with schools should contain as many of the works of our standard poets as possible : great facilities are now afforded for so doing by the publication of cheap editions.

The Editor begs to acknowledge the kindness of A. Tennyson, Esq., Mrs. Mary Howitt, Messrs. Longman & Co., A. W. Bennett, Esq., &c. &c. in granting permission for the use of extracts from copyright works.

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