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ELEMENTARY READING BOOKS.
FIFTH “STANDARD' READER;
Poetry and Joventure.
J. S. LAURIE,
EDITOR OF "THE GRADUATED SERIES OF READING-LESSON BOOKS," ETC.
READING.--A few lines of poetry from a reading-book used in the PREFACE.
first class of the school. Writing.—A sentence slowly dictated once, by a few words at a
time, from a reading-book used in the first class of the school. ARITHMETIC.—A sum in compound rules (common weights and measures).
The chief object aimed at in the present volume is to introduce the pupil to puetry-poetry in the literal and true sense of the term. An endeavour of this kind is of 80 peculiar a character as to call for a word of explanation. The young reader is not suddenly launched into a field of literature in which he will find the language or the ideas entirely new to him. From the earliest stage of his progress his ear has been accustomed to rythm in a variety of forms ; in the shape of easy rhymes, pictorial versification, simple ballads and lyrics, and fables in verse. Again, in the third and fourth books of this series an effort has been made to render him familiar, by little and little, with figurative expressions, and other artifices of poetic diction. To the present volume the transition will thus be found easy and gradual. The first sections of it-namely, Miscellaneous Poems, Poems on Animals, Poems on Nature and the Affectionsconsist almost entirely of lyrical pieces ; and they have been selected not so much on account of their absolute merit (though also on that account) as because they are interesting, short, and not too highly pitched for the period of mental growth for which they are intended.
At the same time it is important to observe that to imbue a pupil at so early a stage with a love of poetry is no easy task. He cannot but meet with some perplexities of speech which he will of himself be unable to solve, or phases of imagery which will transcend his experience; and it will therefore be the more imperative on the teacher to come to his aid and clear away stumbling-blocks. In addition to the careful selection of the pieces themselves, the explanations which have been occasionally inserted as foot-notes will, it is hoped, render those unavoidable difficulties as few and as slight as possible.
As poetical lessons will necessarily occupy a much larger portion of the teacher's time than prose ones, it has not been thought advisable to restrict the volume to poetry alone. A full half of it, however, is devoted to that department, and only every alternate sheet of thirtytwo pages consists of prose. The species of prose lesson which has been chosen-tales of adventure—is that which appears best calculated to relieve the tedium of continuous reading in poetry.
The fourth poetical section chiefly consists of poems adapted for recitation.
*** Although the greater part of the materials have long been independently collected, the Editor has pleasure in acknowledging his obligations to the “ Golden Treasury,” the “ Children's Garland,” and “ Poetry for Children,” for the mechanical facilities which these compilations have afforded him in preparing the present volume.
The Old Man's Comforts, and The Mysteries of Providence.
How he Gained Them . . 10 The Three Fishes . ..
75 The Silkworm .
Invitation to Birds .... 82