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| Home | Reading Room The New McGuffey Fourth Reader

The New McGuffey Fourth Reader
by William H. McGuffey, Compiler

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It is now nearly three quarters of a century since the appearance

of the first edition of McGuffey's Readers, compiled by Dr.

William H. McGuffey. Revisions have since been made from time to

time as the advancement in educational theories and the changes

in methods of teaching seemed to demand. No other school text-

books have retained the popular favor so long or have exerted so

general and so wholesome an influence as has this series of Readers.

In preparing the present revision the aim of this compiler has

been to introduce such new matter and methods as the experience

and judgment of the best teachers have found most commendable and

desirable. He has at the same time endeavored to preserve those

essential features which have always distinguished the McGuffey

Readers and have so largely contributed to their success. While

the majority of the selections are new to the series, care has

been taken to maintain the same high literary and ethical

standard that has hitherto so distinctly characterized these

books. Lessons inculcating kindness, courage, obedience,

industry, thrift, true manliness, patriotism, and other duties

and obligations form no small portion of the contents. Selections

from the masterpieces of English literature include both the

older classical productions, without which no school can be

complete, and also choice extracts from many of the latest and

most popular writers.

The Elocutionary Introduction, by Professor F. Townsend

Southwick, presents in brief scope the most important rules for

oral reading and those principles of the art that are most

necessary for the pupils to master. The teacher should, at the

very onset, become thoroughly familiar with the subjects here

presented, and the pupils should be referred to this discussion

of elocutionary principles as often as occasion may require.

The more difficult words are defined, and their pronunciation is

indicated by diacritical marks. The object of this is to aid the

pupil in the ready preparation of the reading lesson, and not to

supply merely an exercise in the study of words. Short

explanatory notes are given wherever required for a full

understanding of the text. It is assumed, however, that the

pupils have already a general knowledge of most of the subjects

alluded to, or that they have ready access to the more common

books of reference, and therefore only occasional notes of this

character are necessary.

An alphabetical list of the authors of the various selections,

together with the brief biographical and critical notes, is given

as an appendix to the volume.

Acknowledgments are due to Messrs. Little, Brown & Co., Charles

Scribner's Sons, the Century Company, and other publishers who

generously permitted the use, in this series, of selections from

their copyrighted works.

The selections from Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Emerson, and

Lucy Larcom are used by special arrangement with and permission

of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., the authorized publishers of

the writings of these authors.



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