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SLINGSBY BETHELL, Ela;
Lord Mayor of the City of London, and one
of their Representatives in Parliament.
Do not pretend to follow the common, and too customary Form of Dedications, with unnecessary Encomiums; because I am fenfible it is not agreeable to your
Lordship to be flattered. This little Treatise was began in the Year 1739, and the Reason of its not being publifhed before will plainly appear by the Preface.
I Ám highly honoured in being permitted to prefix your Lordship’s Name to it, returning you my sincere Thanks, and acknowledging the Obligation, being sensible that the Performance is not worthy to appear in the World under such Protection.
Your Lordship will permit me to say, that though I have laid down Rules suitable to such an Undertaking ;- yet.my Design is to teach Children something more, than-barely to Spell and read; and therefore I have endeavoured, at the same Time, to inculcate in
the Minds of Youth, early Notices of Religion and Vira tue, and point out to them their feveral Duties in the various Stages of Life: And I fhall be very thankful, should I prove an Instrument in the Hand of Providence, in preventing but one of the rising Generation from falling a Sacrifice to the perniciod's Doctrine, fecret Whispers, and perpetual Infinuations of Popijn Emiffarfes.
Í MAKE no Doubt therefore, that whatever your Lordship may not altogether approve of in Respect of the Former, your Candour will excuse in Regard to the Latter; since it is evident that you are always ready to encourage every Thing that tends to the Practice of Piety, and the Good of Mankind.
THAT the fame kind Providence, which recommended me to your Favour, may continue to your Lordship the Blessing of Health, and that of Prosperity to the City of London, and Kingdom in general, is doubtless the hearty Defire of many, but of none more than,
Your Lordship's most obedient, and
obliged humble Servant,
London, F. 29, 1756.
P R E F A C E.
To every impartial Reader, but more parti
çularly to the School-Masters of GreatBritain and Ireland
HER Ę present you with a few
may, think quite unnecessary, and confI
dering the Number already extant, charge me with Vanity to attempt any Thing further of this Sort; but I beg Leave to be permitted to give some Reasons,
which, perhaps, may prove the Undertaking not so superfluous, vain, rafh, or unnecessary, as at first it may seem to be.
I pall therefore give an Account of the Work itself, and not enter upon a Detail, nor make Comparisons between this, and others ; being very fenfible of the praisewortby Labours of many late Authors, who have deservedly met with Encouragement: I can only say this, that I have endeavoured to make it yet more useful; as appears by those Gentlemen that have recommended it; for not one
of them (to my Knowledge ) figned his Name to the Work, barely to please another.
The Plan, it is plain, is not taken from ary Book; for it was originally began in the Year 1739, and approved of by that late learned and judicious Scholar, the Rev. Mr. Sackville Turner, of West Bergholt, near Colchester; who, with
; cthers, in the Year 1742, advised me to publish it.
In the Year 1747, it was nearly compleated as it now Sands; and had certainly been printed at that Time, had I not been removed to London, when daily expecting Something of this Sort would be published by much abler Hands, I did not choose to put it to the Press, till I had again fhewed the Plan to several of the Recommenders, who advised me by all Means to make it publick; and there is very little edded to it, except the Story in Page 30, and some small Matter in the 4th Part. Having thus frankly told you the real Process of the Work, it will naturally, be expected I should give an Account of what it chiefly confifts.
First. You may fee by the Title what every part contains, and I can assure the Reader that I have found by my own Children, and several others of four Years of Age, that they have learnt much sooner to spell, and read Words of one Syllable by this Plan, then by such Books as have a perpetual Jargon of Ace, brace, grace, mace, trace, &c. &c. or Buy, dry, fry, shy, fly, &c. &c. even to the Number of some Thousands, which many Masters and Mistresses ignorantly, and unnecessarily, force Children to spell and read quite through, till they are actually tired without Improvement; whereas it is natural for Boys to like the Sound of Cake, Tarts, Ball, Tops, &c. &c. nor will the pretty little female Creatures (you will find) be less fond to spell and read these Words, Cup, pan, pot, dish, spoon, plate, knife, fork, bread, beer, wine, &c. &c. because they know the Names, and have Ideas of the Sound before-hand.
After these I have given such natural and easy Leffons, that I am sensible you will foon see them qualified for Words of two Syllables. If indeed the Lefonsbe thought too long for once Reading, I only say 'tis an Error of the right Side, especially as they may be divided into two Lessons, if the Child be very dull.