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PUBLIC SCHOOL SERIES
"Fritz had one unspeakable advantage; he was lessoned, all along, by real men, who believed from the heart outwards, and were daily doing what they taught.
“Human education is not, and cannot be, a thing of vocables. It is a thing of earnest facts; of capabilities developed, of habits established, of dispositions dealt with, of tendencies confirmed and tendencies repressed."
W. ISBISTER & CO.
56, LUDGATE HILL, LONDON
In this Reader the Reading Lessons, it is believed, have the same attraction of freshness as has been so generally commended in the earlier Readers of the Public School Series.
Biographical Notices of all the authors have been given, except when they have already appeared in the earlier Readers.
Elucidatory Notes have been prefixed and appended, with great fulness, wherever necessary. Each Lesson may thus be studied in its connection with the History of the period to which it refers, or with the Persons, Places, or Facts to which it refers. Hence, instead of mere isolated and half unintelligible fragments, the scholar has, throughout the Book, a complete subject in each Reading.
The Vocabulary will be found to give the Etymological Force and Literal Meaning of every difficult word not explained in the Notes.
Lengthened Extracts have been given from Shakspere, and our Higher Poetry, copious Annotations being added to explain every Philological and other difficulty.
Prose Lessons in elucidation of the crigin and characteristics of the English Language have also been introduced.
A List of Words is appended, with Various Meanings.
The Chronological Notes on English and General History are continued to the present year.
A Special and Distinctive Feature of the Fourth and Fifth Readers was the carefully prepared Lessons on the Specific Subjects in various Sciences appointed by Government for each Standard. These Lessons have been continued in this Reader, with the same care and fulness. They have been so written as to be suitable, as a rule, for Reading Lessons.
The Poetical and Shaksperian extracts have been collated with the best editions.
The Illustrations in this Reader, as will be seen, are by the best artists, and are no fewer than one hundred and fifty-six in number.
In issuing this, the last Reader of the Series, the Editor cannot refrain from the hope that all teachers into whose hands it may come may realise the greatness of their office. The pulpit is of priceless value in keeping alive the sense of a higher life than the merely selfish and material, but the schoolmaster's desk may already sow the seeds of such a true ideal of life in the soft and warm soil of childhood. The teacher who limits his conception of his office to the communication of facts and mechanical acquirements, has forgotten that the little creatures before him are the men and women of the world to be, and that much more depends on their character and principles than on their attainments. To train them to think is infinitely more than to feed them with mere facts; but to teach them to think nobly, alone makes their thinking a blessing. Teachers will forgive the Editor, if, with a deep sense of the responsibility of his work and theirs, he reminds them that their lives and character are the great lessons from which their scholars must daily learn. If the teacher be a true man, the child will certainly catch more or less of his spirit. For the teacher is ever the highest on earth, next to the parent, to those under his care. In the breast of every child lie possibilities of untold good or evil, and a reverence for the Unseen and Eternal, which alone quickens the one, and checks the growth of the other. Take that away and the whole universe is no higher or better to us than this earth; the night ever swallowing up the day. Cultivate it, in life, word, spirit, and the cloudiest sky of after-life is arched by rainbows, and there is the clear shining of the sun after every storm, turning the raindrops into glittering light. Let me close with some lines from Coleridge:
“O’er wayward children wouldst thou hold firm rule,
And sun thee in the light of happy faces ;
Love, Hope, and Patience, these must be thy graces,
Yet haply there will come a weary day
When, overtask'd at length,
Then, with a statue's smile, a statue's strength,
Sir W. Napier 139
C. Knight 15
Samuel Smiles 116