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Te every impartial Reader, but more particularly to such as bave
the Care of Protestant Schools in Great Britain and Ireland, and bis Majesty's Plantations, Abroad.
GENTLEMEN, N the first nine Editions of this Work, I desired erery one of
you to encourage it, no further than as you yourselves might think it more useful than Spelling-books in general: and from the great Demand for the former Impressions, is is natural to suppose that many of you have approved of the Woik; and I am highly indebted to you in particular, and to the Public in general, for encouraging me to put it to this new-Impression, in which are several Additions and Improvements, as will appear by giving some Account of the Work itself, as it now stands.
1. I do not pretend to dictate to you the way of teaching Children at first, yet you will give me leave to say what I have experienced in the Course of fifteen Years public Instruction in a School, and twenty in my own 'Family, viz. That a perpetual Jargon of Ace, brace, grace, trace ; Buy, dry, Fry, sky, sly, &c. &c. is dull, dry, and tiresome both to the Child and his Teacher; and especially as there are many Masters and Mistresses so ignorant (particularly in small Towns) as to think it really necessary to go through all the Words in every Table, though they contain
many Thousands: I say this is actually tiriig Children without Improvement; but, believe me, it is much more natural for little Boys and Girls to like the Sound of Cake, Pie, Tarts, Topsy Bread, Beer, Cup, Dish, Spoon, Platé, Knife, Fork, &c. which though they may seem hard, yet really are not fo; because they know the Name's, and having an Idea of the Things before-hand, they are half taught. The same inconvenience attends all such Books as are stuffed with many Thousands of words, of two, three, and four Syllables, without any Meaning, which renders the Work as dry and dull to a grown-up Buy, as the aforesaid Repetition do to a Child.
2. Tables I. II. III. IV. and V. contain very useful Words and easy Lessons of one Syllable, which will soon quality Children for Words of iwo Syltables; and if any Lesson be too long for one Reading, it is an Error on the right sides
especially as they are coitrived so by full Stops, that. Part of them only may be read.
3. It is impossible, in a Book of the price of a Shilling, so lay down all the Methods of Teaching; nay, in short, it is iapossible to fix any particular Rule for others: but this I must take the freedom to say, that I am convinced a Red, Cane, or Ferula, * are of little Signification, (except for Vice,) for I have experienced, that in regard to learning, Infauts may be cheated into it, and the more grown-up. Youth
won by good Nature, and a true Discerning of their natural Temper, Ability, and Disposition.
4. Tables VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIll. and XIV. contain Words from two to four Syllables and Lesso!is; some, where the SyHables ure divided, and orders, where they are undivided for Tria', which are both e. sỹ and instructive; and though not so many in number as in ome Books, yet they * are enough for common instruction, to qualify any Schoolboy to read well with Practice.
s: Tabłęs XV. and XVI. contain very p! asant F.bles and useful Stories, not only improving to the Mind and Moial, but wlich will greatly conduce to nelp Children to read weit.
6. Tables XVII. XVII!.and XIX. treat of the Use of N11. bers, Contractions, and W„rds ot the sanie Sound, bui ot di:ferent Significations.
7. Tables XX. XXI. and XXIJ. treat of Words spelt alike, hut pronounced differently; as also of the Names a d Use of all the Stops and Marks iii Re:ad ng and Writing; together with the Souds and Use of suine püriicular Vowe.said Conschants, and double Leiters.
8. As for not giving more Examp'es concerning the dividing of Syllables, I assure you, Gentleme, thai i have been coinmended for saying that I wilfuiiy omit ed it; biciu:e as the Learned themselves d ffs. so much about it, it is out of the Question to fill a Book with unnecessary Stuff and long. Haran gues, that are nothing else but Stumbling-blocks even to aduit Parsons, and much more to children.
9.- Therefore, as the shortest and plainest Way must certainiy be the best, I would lay down but one Rue in teach. ing Children, and that is this, to teach them t. divide all Syilables as full and as near the true Sound as possible, without any regard to the Latin, or any critical Caviis; thus I
I would advife Masters not to use this foolish Inftrument, it having Scen attended with bad Consequences in pallionate Hands.
would not divide Master, sister, Pestry, &c. Ma-ster, Si-ster, F'e-stry, because here the first Syllable is weak and imperfect, but t'should choose rather to teach them to spell thus, Mas. ter, Sisottr, V'es-try,' &c. because hire the first Syllables of all the Words has a full and true Sou.id, and the second Syllable will natura ly follow.
JO. PART II. Coutains a short and easy Epitome of English Graminer, , which be soon learned by the more-grown Up Youth, and by such as have riot had the Advantage of a more liberal Education.
I know it has been a Notion of long standing, that it is impossible to write true English without a knw.edge of the Larin 'Tongue: but the English Tongue is now grown to such Perfection, that persons who have made English Graminar their Study, know ir is a very fo. lish Norion; and it is a nonst:ous Piece of Pride and Arrogance to assert such a thing, when th greatest Men of the Age have not oniy waisten to the con rary, but daily Experience shews it to be ab-urd.
11. PART III. Has a Coltection of near 5000 Words of tw.y thiet, and foui Sullab.es, of the princepai Parts of Speech, - viz. Niuns Substantives, Adjectives, and Verbs; wiich are expained, not only for the use of Schoo's, but for thic beiter Inlos marion of all youig Persons in the shop and Compling. house; as aisi vor such adult Persi sis as are un.icqualitud with, the meaning of words, and have not the Auvant.gé, or äre nut capab e.o: purchasing a Dictionary.
12. 1 ownl, indved, the Explavarjáls of ihe Words are short, and in many Respect", a niitle dehcient: vut if they ale eneug! 10 co:vey to the Lear ver su much signication as 10 give niin an idea or just notion or the common meaning of the Word, that is sufficient. , for this is so nzce sary a branch of Education, thar bare Speliing without it, must Dc wiowed in be of itself dry, u esess, and ins gnificant.
13. As for the Accent of the words, it always continues upon the same Syllabic ti.lici con r..dicted by anucher Dash on the contrary Syniable. Thus the Accent lies upon tiie arst Syliabic, for the tive Words, from A•bbess 10 Acçéss, and then changes to the secund Syslab,e, fron Access to A etur, &c. The same is to be observed in all other Tabies of Words.
14. PART IV. Contains many useful things. Prușe and Verse ; some of which are new, and others selected from Ide borson, South, Addison, Pope, &c. and are not onlù proper wriling-pieces, bur tend to promote vii cue, and furnish the piind wita carly notions of piery.
Then follows some graces and short prayers, with two useful notes upon the indispensible duty of every teacher, to instil into the minds of children an early notion of their dependence en God, humbly submitted to your serious consideration.
-15. PART V. Contains a pretty natural history of Monarchs and Kings, with several other occurrences from the Creation to the present time, added purely to divert the more grown-up lads, and win them to the love of reading such things as must of course be much for iheir improvement.
16. The POSTSCRIPT is no less useful to instruct such as cannot read old English print, which sometimes falling in our way it is enough to make a good reader blush to have an A& of Parliament or Form of Prayer, put into his hand, and for him to own he cannot read them.
Thus, Gentlemen, I have given you a short account of this undertaking, which I freely submit to your superior judg. ments; and, as I expect to share the common fate of my berters, so I as naturally expect to have justice done me, by considering not only that a book of this small size and price must in some measure be deficient, but that it is impossible to please the ignorant and capricious.
In fine, if upon the whole it appears to be as useful for children, and more serviceable to adult persons, than spelling-books in general, that is enough to make every candid reader wink at a few imperfections: and as for the whimsical and censorious Critic, whose whole search and labour is to carp and find fault upon the least occasion, and very often without any reason at all, it is a pity but he should have some reward for his trouble; and he will not fail of it if he applies in a proper manner according to the following example:
“ A famous Critic (says Boccalini) having gathered together the faults of an eminent Poet, presented them to Apollo, who received them graciously, and promised to make the Au. thor a suitable return for the great trouble he had been at in collecting them together. In order to this Apollo set before him a sack of Wheat, just as it had been thi'ashed from the sheaf, and bid him pick out the chaff from the corn, and lay each by itself: the Critic appliet himself to the task with great industry and pleasure, and after having made a due separation, was presented by Apollo with the chaff only for his pains." Jam, Guntlemen, your very humble servant,
er for -b the
W. HE genuine Merit claims the Muse's Praise,
The Bard enraptur'd tunes the grateful Lüy's; Delighted fings, nor ever sings in vain, As full convinc'd the wilh's applaule to gain. Such Praise, while you such noble Paths pursue, Such just applause is to thy Labours due. A glorious Falk! The unexperienc'd Youth T'iuftruct in Virtue, and the Paths of Truth; With artless Tales to wam their early Years, To thun the present Ills and future Cares; To trace the Way, and all thuse Paths explore, That lead to Learning's inexhausted Sture : A Tueine fo good; a Theme fo truly great, Thát quite exalts, and makes the Work cumplete. To Di che se uwe a great, a noble plan : In Dilwurth shines contest the ingenious Man: In both whate'er is useful now we lee Made perfect, and completed full by thee. Thy skilful hand the rugged Ore refines, And language still in more perfection shines. O may thy Precepts every Youth inflame With Thirst of Knowiedze, and the Love of Fame : And thus intamn’d, conduct the glorious l'ian, Till virtuous Deeds confirm the honcft Man.