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To every impartial Reader, but more particularly to such the Care of Protestant Schools in Great Britain and Ireland, and bis Majesty's Plantations, Abroad.


Nthe first nine Editions of this Work, I desired


every 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 Work; 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.

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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, shy, 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 Thousande: I say this is actually tiring Children without Improvement; but, believe me, it is much more natural for little Boys and Girls to like the Sound of Cake, Pie, Tarts, Tops, Bread, Beer, Cup, Dish, Spoon, Plate, Knife, Fork, &c. which though they may seem hard, yet really are not fo; because they know the Names, 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 two Syllables; and if any Lesson be too long for oner Reading, it is an Error on the right side,

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 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. X. XII. XIII. and XIV. contain Words from two to four Syllables, and Lessons; some, where the Syllables are divided, and others, where they are undivided for Tria', which are both and instructive; and though not so many in number as in some Books, yet they are enough for commen instruction, to qualify any Schoolboy to read well with Practice.

5. Tables XV. and XVI. contain very pleasant Fbles and useful Stories, not only improving to the Mind and Moral but which will greatly conduce to help Children to read well.

6. Tables XVII. XVIII.and XIX. treat of the Use of Numbers, Contractions, and Words of the same Sound, bu; of di:ferent Significations.

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 particular Vowels and Consonants, and double Letters.

8. As for not giving more Examples concerning the dividing of Syllables, I assure you, Gentlemen, that I have been commended for saying that I wilfully omitted it; bic me as the Learned themselves differ so much about it, it is out of the Question to fill a Book with unnecessary Stuff and long. Harangues, that are nothing else but Stumbling-blocks even to adult Persons, and much more to Children.

9. Therefore, as the shortest and plainest Way must certainly be the best, I would lay down but one Rule in teach. ing Children, and that is this, to teach them to divide all Syllables 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 Mafters not to use this foolish Inftrument, it having been attended with bad Confequences in paffionate Hands.

would not divide Master, Sister, Eestry, Sc. Ma-ster, Si-ster,. Ve-stry, because here the first Syllable is weak and imperfect, but I should choose rather to teach them to spell thus, Marter, Sister, Ves-try, &c. because h ́re the first Syllables of all the Words has a full and true Sound, and the second Syllable will natura ly follow.

10. PART II. Coutains a short and easy Epitome of English Grammer, which may be soon learned by the more grown up Youth, and by such as have not 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 Knowledge of the Larin Tongue: but the English Tongue is now grown to such Perfection, that Per ons who have made English Grammar their study, know it is a very fo lish Notion; and it is a monstous Piece of Pride and Arrogance to assert such a thing, when the greatest Men of the Age have not only written to the contrary, but daily Experience shews it to be absurd.

1. PART II. Has a Collection of near 5000 Words of tw three, and four Syllabies, of the princepar Parts of Speech, -viz. Nouns Substantives, Adjectives, and Verbs; which are explained, not only for the use of Schools, but for the better Information of all your g Persons in the Shop and Compting- house; as also for such adult Persons as are unacquainted with the meaning of words, and have not the Auvanit. ge, or are not capab e o purchasing a Dictionary.

12. I own, indeed, the Explanations of the Words are short, and in many Respects, a little dehcient: but if they are enough to convey to the Learner so much signification as to give him an idea or just notion of the common meaning of the Word, that is sufficient. for this is so necessary & Branch of Education, that bare Spelling without it, must be allowed to be of itself dry, useless, and ins gnificant.

13. As for the Accent of the Words, it always continues spon the same Syllable tilti con radicted by another Dash on the contrary Syllable. Thus the Accent lies upon the nrst Syllable, for the five Words, trom Abbess to Access, and then changes to the second Syllabe, from Access to A &tor, &c. The same is to be observed in all other Tables of Words.

14. PART IV. Contains many useful things Prose and Verse; some of which are new, and others selected from Tile Loison, South, Addison, l'ope, &c. and are not only proper for wring-pieces, bur tend to promote vi.tue, and furnish the niind with carly notions of piety.

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 their 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 Act 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 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 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 Author 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 separation, was presented by Apollo with the chaff only for his pains."

I am, Gentlemen, your very humble servant,
And Well-Wisher.






WHEN genuine Merit claims the Muse's Praise,

The Bard enraptur'd tunes the grateful Lays;

Delighted fings, nor ever fings in vain,

As full convinc'd the wifh'd applaufe to gain.
Such Praife, while you fuch noble Paths purfue,
Such juft applaufe is to thy Labours due.
A glorious Talk! The unexperienc'd Youth
T'inftruct in Virtue, and the Paths of Truth;
With artlefs Tales to warn their early Years,
To thun the prefent Ills and future Cares;
To trace the Way, and all thofe Paths explore,
That lead to Learning's inexhaufted Store:
A Tueine fo good; a Theme fo truly great,
That quite exalts, and makes the Work complete.
To Dyche we owe a great, a noble plan:
In Dilworth fhines conteft 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 ftill in more perfection shines.
O may thy Precepts every Youth inflame

With Thirst of Knowledge, and the Love of Fame :
And thus inflam'd, conduct the glorious Plan,
Till virtuous Deeds confirm the honeft Man.


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