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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, it is natural to suppose that many of you have approved of the Woik; and I am highly indebted io 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, sby, sky, &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 Thousande: I say this is actually tirirg 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, Plate, 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 Boy, 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 qualify 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 contrived 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, to lay down all the Methods of Teaching; nay, in short, it is in. possible to fix any particular Rule for others: but this I must take the freedom to say, that I ain 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. XIIl. and XIV. coutain Wirds from two to four Syllahlesgand Les:09:S'; some, where the Syllables are divided, and others, where they are undivided for Tria', which are both e..sj and instructive; and though not so many in number as in some Books, yet they are enough for commco instruction, to qualify any Schoolboy to read well with Practice.
5: Tables XV. and XVI. contain verv p! asant F..bles and useful Stories, not only improvitig to the Mind and Moral, but wiiich will greatly conduce tu nelp Children to read weit.
6. Tables XVII, XVII!.and XIX. treat of the Use of Nonbers, Contractions, and Wurds of the samie Sound, bui ot di:ferent Significatiuns.
7. Tables XX. XXI. and XXII. treat of Words spelt alike, but pronounced differently; as also of the Names a d Use of all the Stops and Marks in Read ng and Writing; together with the sounds and Use of some purricular Vowe.said Consonants, and double Leiters.
8. As for not gvi' g more Examp'es concerning the dividing of Syllables, I assure you, Gentleme:), that I have been coinmended for saying that I wilfully omited it; béca: e as the Learned themselves d ffur so much about it, it is out of the Question to fill a Book wiih unnecessary Stuff and long. Haral gues, that are nothing else but Stunabling-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 eritical Caviis; - thus I
. I would advise Masters not to use this foolish Inftrument, it having Scen attended with bad Consequences in pallionaie Hands.
would not divide Master, sister, Pestry, &c. Ma-ster, Si-ster,« Fe-stry, because here the first Syllable is weak and imperfect, but I should choose rather to teach them to spell thus, Master, Sister, V'es-try, &c. because h're the first Syllables of all the Words has a full and true Sou.id, and the second Syllable will natura ly follow.
10. PART II. Contains a short and easy Epitome of English Graminer, which be soon learned by the morc-grown lip Youth, and by such as have riot had the Acivantage 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 know.edge of the Latin Tongue: but the English Tongue is now grown to such Perfection, that Per ons who have made English Gramınar their Study, know ir is a very fo. lish Norion; and it is a nonstious Piece of Pride and Arrogance to assert such a thing, when th greatest Men of the Age have not ony wiitten 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.., thie«, and four Sullab.es, ot the prir:c<pai Parts of Speech, viz. Nuns Substantivès, Adjectives, and Verbs; wirich are expained, not only for the use of Schoo's, but for tlic beiter In10 marion of all youig Persons in the shop anu Compring. house; as aisu jor suco adult Persi sis as are un.icqualitd with, the Maning of words, and have Nut the Auvalt.gé, or are nut capab eo. Purchasing a Dictionary.
12. i ow11, indveit, the Explanations of the Words are short, and in many Respect", a niitle dehcient: vut if they are eNo, ug! 10 co::vey to the Lear ser su muci sigandication as 10 give hiin an idea or just notion or the common meaning at the Word, that is sufficient. for this is so izce :Sary-a Branch of Education, that bare Speliing without it, must be a.lowed io be of itself dry, u esess, arid ins gnificant.
13. As for the Accent of the words, it always continues upon the same Syllabic til iti con radicted by anucher Dash on the contrary Syllable. Thus the Accent lies upon tie nrst Syliabie, for the tive Words, trom A'bbess 10 Acçéss, and then changes to the second Syslab,e, fro.il Access to Attur, &c. The same is to be observed in and other Tabits of Words.
14. PART IV. Contains nary useful things. Proșe and Verse ; some of which are now, and others selected from Ide horson, South, Addison, l'ope, &c. and are.not only proper
for wriimg-pieces, but tend to promote vii tue, and furnish the niind with carly notions of piery.
Then follows some graces and short prayers, with two useful notes upon the indispensible daty 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 narutal 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 their improvement,
16. The POSTSCRIPT is no less useful to instruct such as cannot read old English print, which sometimes falling inn our way it is enough to make a good reader blush to have an Ad of Parliament or Form of Prayer, put into his band, 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 betters, 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 spel. ling-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 thrashed from the sheaf, and bid him pick out the chaff from the corn, and lay each by itself: the Critic applied himself to the task with great industry and pleasure, and after having made a due se, paration, was presented by Apollo with the chaff only for his pains." Jam, Guntlemen, your very humble servant,
- Eur, oras, and
er for -b the
WHEN genuine Merit claims the Muse's Praise,
The Bard enraptur'd tunes the grateful Lay's; Delighted fings, nor ever sings in vain, As full convinc'd the wish' applaule to gain. Such Praise, while you such noble Paths purfue, Such just applause is to thy Labours due.
A glorious Falk! The unexperienc'd Youth T'instruct in Virtue, and the Paths of Truth; With artless Tales to warn 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 so good; a Theme fo truly great, That quite exalts, and makes the Work complete. To Dyche we owe a great, a noble plan : In Dikwurth shines cuntelt the ingenious Man: In both whate'er is useful now we fee Made perfect, and completed full by thee. Thy ikilful hand the rugged Ore refines, And language still in more perfectiou shines. O may thy Precepts every Youth inflaine With Thirst of Knowledge, and the Love of Fame: And thus intam’d, conduct the glorious Plan, Till virtuous Deeds confirm the honcft Man.