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and unmeaning business to them. Let a child in his first attempts to read without spelling, have some easy, interesting story given to him, composed of familiar expressions, such as he understands, and he will, without any instruction, read with a natural tone of voice, and with the most perfect propriety. And he will always continue to do so, unless his pronunciation becomes vitiated by example, or by his being put upon an improper course of reading.
The American Reader is composed of pieces which are moral and instructive, as well as entertaining; and it is presented to the public with a full confidence, that if admitted into general use, it will very greatly contribute to the important object, which it is designed to promote.
After children are able to read with facility this book, they will be prepared to enter upon reading of a higher kind; as The American Preceptor, Elements of Useful Knowledge, The English Reader, &c. from which no extracts have been made for the present work, it being designed as a step to them, to be used by a lower class of readers.
It is important that books in a school, which are used by the same class of readers, should be exactly alike. The frequent alterations which have been made in almost all school books, both as to.matter and form, is a considerable evil. is designed, therefore, that future editions of this work shall exactly correspond with the present.
It is by no means the wish of the editor, that the Bible should be excluded from our schools, It is proper that children should commence reading in the New-Testament, at least once a day, at the same time that they begin this book. To make the Bible the only book which is read in schools, it is conceived, would be very ill-judged, and improper.
It will be found by comparison, that the following work is not a mere compilation ; but that considerable pains have been taken to alter, retrench, or enlarge the several pieces, for the purpose of adapting them to the design of the publisher.
To all those who are employed in the honourable, the inportant, and difficult task of rearing the tender mind; to all parents and guardians of youth ; and to all children who desire to improve in knowledge and virtue ; this book is humbly inscribed, by their well-wisher, HERMAN DAGGETT.
ONE fine morning, in the month of June, Ambrose prepared to set out with his father on a party of pleasure, which for a fortnight before had taken up all his thoughts. He had risen, contrary to his custom, very early, in order to hasten the preparations for his jaunt. How ever, just as he thought he had reached the object of his wishes, the sky darkened all at once, the clouds grew thick, and a violent wind bent down the trees, and raised up a tempest of dust.
2. Ambrose" went down every moment into the garden to observe the appearance of the sky; he then skipped up the stairs, three at a time, to examine the barometer, but the sky and the barometer conspired against him. For all this, he did not scruple to give his father good hopes, and to assure him that these unfavourable
appearances would disperse in a moment ; that presently it would be the finest weather in the world, and he concluded that they ought to set out directly to have the benefit of it.
3. Mr. Powell, who did not repose a blind confidence in his son's prognostics, thought it more prudent to wait a little. Just then the
clouds burst and discharged a heavy shower of rain. Ambrose in the bitterness of his disappointment, began to cry, and obstinately refused all consolation.
4. The rain continued until three o'clock in the afternoon. At length, the clouds dispersed, the sun resumed his lustre, the sky its clearness, and all nature breathed the freshness of Spring. Ambrose recovered his good humour by degrees, in proportion as the sky brightened. His father took him out a little way, and the calmness of the air, the singing of the birds, the lively verdure of the fields, and the sweet per: fume that breathed all around him, restored peace and satisfaction completely to his mind.
5. Do you not observe, said his father to him, the pleasing change now produced all around you? Recollect how dull every thing yesterday appeared to us ; the ground parched up by a long drought ; the flowers faded and hanging their languid heads; in a word all vegetation seemed to be at a stand. To what must we attribute the sudden revival of nature ?-To the rain that has fallen to day, said Ambrose.
6. The injustice of his complaints, and the folly of his behaviour, struck him sensibly as he pronounced these words. His father observing him to blush, judged that his own reflections would be sufficient to teach him, another to sacrifice, without reluctance, a selfish pleasure to the general advantage of mankind.