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PUBLIC LIBRARY 1961-09

ASTOR, LENOX AND
I DEN FOUNDATIONS
R 1925 L

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873,

BY A. L. BANCROFT & COMPANY,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

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PREFACE.

IN

preparing this volume, the Fourth in the Pacific

Coast Series of Readers, the author has kept steadily in view the fact that the primary object of a course of reading is to learn to read. It comprehends, at once, a study of the language, as such, and its vocal expression as a rhetorical art. The inquiry of the author of a system of text-books on the subject should, therefore, be confined to the best means of securing these ends. Any attempt to do more than that, goes beyond the legitimate purpose of a School Reader, and tends to defeat it.

For this reason, the plan adopted by some authors, of making the Reader the vehicle of history and the natural sciences, cannot be sustained, and is rapidly falling into disfavor. If pupils study the matter presented as a treatise on science, their attention is necessarily withdrawn from the only proper subject in hand; if they do not, the chapter of science is simply thrown away. Then, again, scientific literature, abounding in hard names and more or less difficult principles, does not afford that scope and variety of selected matter obviously requisite in a text-book on Reading.

The fact is, Reading is a science in itself-comprehensive, difficult, and complete; and it has suffered too much already from neglect and abuse, to be now burdened with the dead weight of other branches of learning, which have their appointed place and proper textbooks in our schools.

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Holding these ideas, we intend that the Pacific Coast Series of Readers shall be characterized by a strict adherence to them. In addition to the usual introductory chapters on Elocution, the higher volumes of the series will contain the most attractive matter that can bo culled from the best literature of the past and present, embracing all subjects, and every variety of treatment; and such spelling and defining exercises and explanatory notes as will enable the student to understand what is written, and to read it correctly.

The material of the Fourth Reader las been carefully adapted to its position in the grade of a progressive series, and is fresh, varied, and entertaining. Local subjects are occasionally treated in this volume, and in this and the succeeding numbers sufficient selections will be made from the literature of the Pacific Coast, to render the Readers, while not at all merely local, in a manner racy of the soil.

The vowel and consonant marks used are those adopted by Noah Webster, the standard American Lexicographer.

Figures, and other marks of reference to introductory lessons, definitions and foot-notes, are not used in this series, as they serve only to mar and encumber the text, without accomplishing any good result-it being found, in practice, that such references are usually disregarded.

The example of other authors, in giving copious illustrations of vowel and consonant combinations as introductory exercises in Articulation, has not been followed, for the reason that the reading lessons afford sufficient drill in those combinations.

Such, without any capricious attempts at novelty, are the leading characteristics of the present work, and of the Pacific Coast Series of Readers.

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