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SUPPLEMENTARY TO FIFTH READER
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
NEW YORK, CINCINNATI, AND CHICAGO.
STANDARD SUPPLEMENTARY READERS.
THE SUPPLEMENTARY READERS form a series of carefully graduated reading-books, designed to connect with any of the regular series of five or six Readers. These books, which are closely co-ordinated with the several Readers of the regular series, are :
1. Easy Steps for Little Feet: Supplementary to First Reader. — In this book the attractive is the chief aim, and the pieces have been written and chosen with special reference to the feelings and fancies of early childhood.
II. Golden Book of Choice Reading: Supplementary to Second Reader. - This book presents a great variety of pleasing and instructive reading, consisting of child-lore and poetry, noble examples, and attractive object-readings.
III. Book of Tales; being School Readings Imaginative and Emotional: Supplementary to Third Reader. -- In this book the youthful taste for the imaginative and emotional is fed with pure and noble creations drawn from the literature of all nations.
IV. Readings in Nature's Book: Supplementary to Fourth Reader. -- This book contains a varied collection of charming readings in natural history and botany, draton from the works of the great modern naturalists and travelers.
V. Seven American Classics. VI. Seven British Classics.
The “ Classics” are suitable for reading in advanced grammar grades, anit aim to instill a taste for the higher literature, by the presentation of gems of British and American author.
In the series of Supplementary Readers, the plan of which is given on the opposite page, the “Seven American Classics" is designed, in connection with the “Seven British Classics," to supply a superior kind of reading for use in the advanced classes of grammar-schools.
It is not needful to discuss the import of the term classic in connection with the writers from whom these selections are drawn. We can only say of the authors here represented, either that they are already classics in the strict sense, or that their works hold, embalmed and treasured up, that ethereal and fifth essence which gives assurance that the world will not willingly let them die.
It is sincerely hoped that this taste of standard literature may tend in some degree to counteract the effect of the scrappy incoherence of the matter which children are generally condemned to read in school. It is unfortunate that the technical conditions which school-readers must fulfill are such as to exclude, especially in the lower books, the best writers; but it seems that even in the higher books, - such as are in the hands of pupils from fifteen to seventeen years of age, — compilers are too prone to sacrifice the seasoned timber of literature for the merely “popular” pieces of the fashionable writers of the day. The literary firmament is never without its holiday fireworks, — its brilliant coruscations that often outshine the heav
enly lights for a moment. But the rockets and “brief candles" go out, leaving the stars in their serene and sempiternal beauty.
The seven masters here represented are Irving, Cooper, Bryant, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes; and it is
represented. Complete pieces have been given save in the few instances of selections from elaborate works, and even in these it may fairly be claimed that the selections are in themselves “entire and perfect chrysolites.” To present complete pieces of literary workmanship was indeed the prime object of the book, for extracts are at best what Bacon calls “flashy things.” The “Seven British Classics” has been made on the same plan, and the two little volumes can hardly fail to beget some appetite for what is purest and best in the literature of our language.
The publishers are indebted to Messrs. Houghton, Miffin, & Co. for kind permission to use extracts from Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, and Holmes.