« ZurückWeiter »
TO THE TEACHER.
O'er wayward childhood wouldst thou hold firm rule',
Love', Hope', and Patience', these must be thy graces';
For as old Atlas on his broad neck places
Of education-Patience', Love', and Hope'.
And the soft murmurs of the mother dove',
Woos back the fleeting spirit', and half supplies';
When, overtask'd at length,
Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way'.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred and
HARPER & BROTHERS,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
The FIFTH READER of the "School and Family Series" more fully develops the plan of the author than the preceding numbers. While we have aimed to compile a series of books in every respect adapted to give all needed instruction in the art of reading, we have also endeavored to make them the medium of conveying, in as interesting a form as possible, a large amount of useful knowledge; and it is with a great degree of confidence that all practical educators will acknowledge the possibility of harmonizing these two objects in a reading-book for schools, that the present volume is submitted to them. What better reading-lessons could be given than the numerous poetical extracts which are used to illustrate the lessons in BoTANY, where we find such gems as "The Moss Rose" (p. 150); Roscoe's address to "The Camellia" (p. 154); Leigh Hunt's "Chorus of Flowers" (p. 157); Mrs. Southey's "Night-blooming Cereus," or "Unpretending Worth" (p. 159); Dickens's "Ivy Green" (p. 163); Emerson's "Rhodora" (p. 171); Mary Howitt's "Corn-fields" (p. 194); that fine moral story of "The Fern and the Moss," by Eliza Cook (p. 201); and Longfellow's tribute to the "Drifting Sea-weed” (p. 210)? And why should not Holmes's beautiful description of "The Living Temple" (see p. 85) be both a more useful and a more interesting reading exercise when appropriately made a lesson in PHYSIOLOGY than when read as an isolated piece, dissevered from its natural connections? And where can be found better reading exercises than such as we have used to illustrate and give interest to PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, among which are found Mrs. Sigourney's description of "The Coral Insect" (p. 371); Bryant's description of mountain scenery, and of "The Prairies" (p. 372, 379); Willis Gaylord Clark's address to "The Alps" (p. 375); Prentice's "Mammoth Cave" (p. 384); Coleridge's "Valley of Chamouni" (p. 388); Proctor's, and Percival's, and Byron's descriptions of "The Ocean" (p. 394-7); and the several descriptions given of the "Falls of Niagara” (p. 405–7)? Such selections, every one must admit, are far more interesting and instructive when they are used to illustrate, and are themselves illustrated by, important facts and principles in science, than when they appear in miscellaneous collections merely as "Orient pearls at random strung." It is only when the subjects to which they refer are understood that such pieces are duly appreciated.
As variety, within the limits of good style, and embracing both prose and poetry, is correctly considered an essential requisite of a good reading-book for advanced pupils, we may justly urge that the plan of the present work has peculiar advantages in this respect; for not only do the illustrative selections to which we have alluded give great variety to the scientific divisions, but each of these departments of knowledge has a literature of its own; each has its peculiar words, and its forms of expression, as well as its principles, with which not only every scholar, but every general reader