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FOR ALL CLASSES OF ENGLISH SCHOOLS.
IN FIVE BOOKS.
BOOK THE FOURTH.
LONGMAN, GREEN, LONGMAN, AND ROBERTS.
1. To those engaged in the work of elementary education it cannot fail to have been a matter of surprise that, while within recent times no labor has been spared to improve and perfect handbooks for special branches of knowledge, little or nothing has been done, at least systematically, to facilitate the acquirement of the art of reading. In the vast majority of schools the reading-books in current use are the same, or nearly the same, as those which were popular some fifteen, twenty, or even thirty years ago. This circumstance is certainly not a little remarkable, considering the advance which has been made within the last quarter of a century in the methods of elementary instruction; but it appears still more remarkable when we consider to how great an extent, in teaching reading, even the best teachers are dependent for success on the books they employ. In giving a lesson to a class in any of the mathematical or physical sciences, a skilful and zealous master easily rises above the imperfections of his text-book : from his own stores of knowledge he corrects what may be erroneous, and vivifies or supplements what may be tedious or defective. But a bad reading-book presents obstacles which can never be entirely surmounted. It is a perpetual source of weariness to the teacher as well as to the pupil. The present Series owes