Nathan Lewis Rice Jonathan Blanchard.

A debate on slavery: held in the city of Cincinnati,on the first ..., Part 4 online

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cannot but be admired.

One of the principal advantages of this system, is its simpli-
city. Instead of its being a mysterious uncertainty,

"Where all is new, and all unknown,"
the child clearly sees the very process by which he progresses.
The book is composed wholly of words of one syllMe,
with the exception of a few lessons at the close.


From what has been said with regard to the Primer, it will be
understood that this book, as well as those that follow it, are
constructed on the same plan — ^the difficult words being arrang-
ed for spelling before each reading lesson — ^the reverse of most
other aeries. The fix^ fifty pages of this reader, are made up
of words of one syllable, notwithstanding the quantity con-
tained in the Primer. After this, words of ^two syllables are
gradually introduced, which, with few exceptions, continue
Uirough the book. In order that correct tastes and habits in
reading be early acquired, the subject of each lesson is brought
fully within the comprehension of children : and though the
lessons are designed to interest, yet not the less to instruct,


The first fifty pages of this book are made up almost wholly
of monysyllables and dissyllables. The lessons are but one
grade above those of the First Reader. The most difficult words,
as in the preceding book, are formed into spelling lessons before
the reading. The unnecessary repetition of these words has
been carefully avoided^ and they have been selected in the order
they occur in the lesson.

In primary instruction. Pictures hold an important place,, as
a means of facilitating the progress — attracting the attention —
and enlisting the interest of the scholar. But their use, like
other good things, is liable to great abuse. The practice of
constantly crowding before the eyes of children luminous pic-
tures, excites the fancy to excess, and soon withdraws the atten-
tion wholly from the lesson. After having been thus stimula-
ted for a time, the mind becomes dormant, and the child mani-
fests no disposition to peruse even lessons which are thus illu-
minated, much less, those not. To use them in a proper man-
ner, has been particularly regarded in these books. The most
attractive pictures, however, held up to the view of the scholar

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will be found in the lessons themselves-^-^ttractive, not from
sheer novelty^ but from the healthful instruction, both moral and
intellectual, which they afford.


An additional feature characterizes thi^ as well as the Fourth
Reader, which is, Definitions. Each difficult word, when it
first occurs in a reading exercise, is defined in immediate connec-
tion with the spelling, before the lesson. It will be remembered
that in other Series now in use, the scholar is required to "spell
and define" the difficult words after the lesson, but they are not
defined. Now, the plan of actually defining before the lesson,
is not only to be preferred, on account of its convenience, but al-
so as it saves the expense of purchasing dictionaries for that
purpose. Besides, if the scholar be referred to a dictionary for
the definition, why not refer him, also, to the same source^ for
the spelling? Moreover, if it is important, as all admit it is, that
he understand what he reads, ought he not to be required to
learn the signification of such words before he reads? For cer-
tainly, if he does not understand the parts, he cannot understand
the whole.

What can be more absurd than requiring a child to gothrou|[h
a whole series of elementary books, without meeting with a sm-
gle definition, except the precious few of two hundred at the
close of the spelling book? Why, he merely accumulates a
cloud of words, of which he never knows the use! To de-
fine the simple words that are made use of in the First and Sec-
ond Readers, would be "darkening counsel." Moreover, to re-
quire it, would be asking too much for those only capable of
reading in such books. But scholars, prepared for a book of
this rank, are capable of learning for themselves, with proper
facilities presented, the meaning of those words with which they
are not already familiar. For them to pass indifferently over
words, unacquainted with their import, every judicious teacher
must deem it improper in the extreme. Yet when no means are
provided for them to learn the definition, except by reference to
some iforeign source, how often is it regarded a sufiicient apolo-
gy, with the teacher, for treating the subject with utter neglect!
But when th'e definitions are given, as in this and the Fourth
Reader, there is no longer any disposition to pass them by.

In defining, the literal or general meaning is given. This
is, the sense the word generally bears. When it is learned, the
figurative and other shades of meaning are at once understood
by the connection in which the word stands. But when the



figurative sense is very foreign from the literal, that meaning is
also given, as near as can be, independent of the connection. To
define only the sense in which a word happens to be used as is
done in books now prominently before the public, is worse than
not to define at all ; for what is given as figurative^ is taken as
literal. Besides, it is attempting to give that meaning which
can only be learned properly by the connection.


This book differs, in an essential particular, from any other
4th Reader, or book sustaining that relation ever published.
Part 1st embracing thirty four pages, is devoted to instruction in
the science of readipg, or Elocution. It is divided into short
lessons, with questions appended. The instructions are more
elementary, more practical — ^and accompanied by more numer-
ous exercises — ^than are found in the ordinary works on Elocu-
tion. It is designed that while each lesson is made use of, as a
reading exercise, it be also studied as a Grammar lesson.

The Rhetorical principles given are those of our American au-
thor, Dr. Porter. He has laid out a new path, or done for Elocu-* ^
tion, what Campbell and Whately have performed for the more ab-
struse branches of Rhetoric. Instead of a set of arbitrary rules
which might serve to direct the scholar in giving the proper tone
and emphasis to this or that piece set for declamation, and as effec-
tually murder every other of a different style and subject, he has
by a lonff course of study, and close observation, sought for the
universal principles of Eloquence, and as far as the nature of the
subject would admit, reduced them to a respective scientific form.
He does not profess to give to the public a "Rhetorical Guide" that
may make a man a good speaker ; but to analize the nature of
Eloquence, and to lay down distinctly, and illustrate fully, the
principles that every real orator follows, and whether he knows
It or not always has followed, and never has violated without a
failure proportionate to his offence. The Elocutionist who pro-
ceeds on the ordinary plan, acts as wisely as would a Grammari-
an, who instead of searching out the inherent principles of a
language, to which all its best writers, whether knowingly, *or
unknowingly conform, should frame a set of arbitrarymaxims of
his own for the use of all who would speak or write with pro-
priety ; — or as sensibly as a logician who instead of setting
forth the mode in which universal reason acts — ^the principles by
which all correct reasoning must be condiicted, should, in the
plentitude of his caprice, manufacture a Reasoner's Guide, with-
out any reference to, or it may be, altogether foreign to the intel-
lectual structure; — or further, as well as the musician, who gives

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instruction for learning this, or that piece, instead of teaching the
science of his art and rules for execution, that are of universal
application. By the former plan, one, it is true, may learn to
perform many pieces admirably, but his musical knowledge be-
gins and ends with them. All the directions he has received,
are confined to the "lessons," and if he attempts to extend them
to others, it is with a certainty of frequent blunders, and a want
of all confidence, even when he is right. Just so it must be
with any capricious system of Elocution. It may serve to di-
rect the reader in giving the proper tone and emphasis to words
and sentences on the particular pages to which it refers, (but
there its utility ends ; and if its rules be thoroughly learned, as
all elementary knowledge should, so that they be incorporated
in the mind, and become, as it were, habits of the understanding,
which the scholar in after life follows unconsciously, and with-
out knowing whence they came, they cannot fail to vitiate his
taste, make his delivery stififand unnatural, and in a good degree
render abortive the best natural powers.

The success that "Porter's Rhetorical Reader," has met with,
shows how well his design has been carried out. It has become
a standard text book all over the Union. It has been recom-
mended by many of the most distinguished professors in our
American colleges, and has already passed through two hun-
dred and thirty large editions.

In part 2nd,the notatioji, for the proper inflection, emphasis,
dLc., is only employed in cases where there is a liability to err,
or in passages peculiarly illustrative of some Rhetorical princi-
ples, which it is desired the scholar should be led to observe.
The continuous use of a notation, in unnecessary as well as ne-
cessary cases, is as wise as would be the erection of "Guide
Posts" at every corner of the fence — from their frequency they
are passed unobserved, even where it is needful that they be re-
garded. It is a grossly mistaken idea, and one entertained only
by the most superficial teachers, that the modulation of the voice
should be regulated entirely by notation, instead of the sejise.
In fact the sense is the only notation of any use in ordinary ca-
ses. Anything . like a substitute is pernicious. The constant
use of it is not unlike the puerile practice, (formerly in use, but
now utterly repudiated by judicious teachers,) of affixing to a
defining vocabulary a notation, designating the parts of speech
to which the several words belong — requiring the scholar to
distinguish them, not from a knowledge of what constitutes a
noun^ verb, ^c, but sheerly from the notation.

In the 1st and 2nd Readers the words that compose the spel-
ling lessons, are divided into syllables — in the 3rd and 4th, only
where there is a liability to mistake, and at the same time the

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! pronunciation is denoted. . To do it in all cases, would be per*
brming for teacher and scholar what they ougi\i to do them*
selves, and to suppose them incapable, after such assistance as
has been afforded, would, to say the least, be paying them no
very high compliment; moreover, without such practice, they
might be rendered incapable of ever doing it with propriety.

Besides the ordinary questions on the subject of the lessons as
in other books, there are others paramount in importance— ques-
tions as to the proper inflections, emphasis, &c., which are ne-
cessary to give full expression to the sense. Annexed to these
auestions, are references to the instructions of Part First, where
le principles now required to be applied are fully elucidated,
thus giving them great practical value.


Peint.— This is open, clear, and distinct That in the Primer
is large— In the JRrst Reader^ it is a size smaller — ^in the Sec-
ond Reader^ the same as in the F^rsL That of the Third,
smaller, but not so small as in the Fourth Reader, which is the
ordinary size. This feature must be deemed a matter of much
importance. That the print in a Second, should be as small as
in a Fourth Reader, which is the case in other series, must be
regarded as no inconsiderable objection.

Progression. — An equally serious objection, urged against
every series published, is that the progression is too rapid.
This is especially true in passing from the Second to the Third
Reader — ^the Third being quite as elevated, both in style and
subjects, as the Fourth Reader. The consequence is, the schol-
ar is soon lost, as it were in an interminable maze. This fault,
which is no minor one, has never been regarded as applicable
to this Series. The gradation is both easy and natural — the
subjects, while they are instructive, are calculated to win the at-

ation of the learner, and allure him on, step by step, to that
/hich is more advanced. Nothing can have a more pernicious
influence on the mind of youth^ than reading that which they
are unable to comprehend. The practice not only begets in
them habits of indiflerence, but, more than that, they acquire a
perfect disgust for reading of any description, however interest-

Character of the Lessons. — ^Purity of sentiment and
thought, must be considered of no small importance. While
this has been regarded, elegance of expression, chasteness of
style, and adaptedness to instruct in reading have by no means
been overlooked.

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Variety. — Another feature, not less important, which char-
acterizes this Series, is the great variety it embraces, both in sub-
ject and style. The manner of reading must be adapted to the
style of the composition. If narrative, it must be read in the
narrative style — ^if argumentative, then in the argumentative
style. Hence the importance of variety. For, if the style of
the composition be uniform, that of the reading must necessarily
become unilorm and monotonous. This is invariably the result
in th^ use of histories for reading books — a practice already too

Spelling and Pkonunciation. — Throughout the^Series, the
Spelling and Pronunciation is uniform — ^being in conformity
with Webster.


This book is designed to be used in connection with the
Readers — ^being taken up soon after the scholar begins the
First Reader. It contains many classes of words for spelling,
which are often omitted in others, as proper names ; the States
with their abbreviations and capitals ; the books of the Old and
New Testaments with their abbreviations ; words which arc pro-
nounced nearly as well as others quite alike, &0C. The
instructions in the Elements of Orthography are more com-
plete and easily comprehended than those commonly found ia
spelling books— being, accompanied with a scheme for parsings
by which they are practically- applied.

In most of the lessons a plan is adopted, by which the scholar
is able to learn, to some extent the meaning of the words which
he spells — a word in one column defining, in part, one in an op-
posite column. Thus, —

a bate de crease |< al lure en tice

comprise include | concur agree

By this arrangement the words are contrasted in signification,
and hence, the differences between the words, in meaning, can
easily be pointed out, as well as the resemblance. The words
however, can be spelled in the ordinary manner, if desired, since
they are as well classified as if not thus arranged i

The spelling and pronunciation, are as in the Readers, ia
accordance with Webster's Dictionary. Therefore, the follow-
ing inconsistencies, with many others of a similar nature, which
abound in books conformable to Walker, are avoided. The spel-
ling within the parentheses, is as adopted in this book. When

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there isyiione thus annexed to a word, the spelling in this book
is the same as that in others.

Villain, villany (villainy), villanous (villainous) — embassy,
ambassador (embassador), ambassadress (embassadress) — em-
bark, embarcation (embarkation) — dependant (dependent), inde-
pendent — roll, unrol (unroll), enrol (enroll) — will, wilful (will-
ful)— stillness, fulness, (fullness) — recall, enthral finthrall) from
thrall — illness, dulness (dullness) — install, instalment (mstall-
ment) — -enter, centre (center) — neuter, nitre (niter) — sober, sa-
bre (saber) — diameter, metre, (meter) — high, height (hight) —
highness, heighten (highten) — perilous, marvellous (marvelous)
— ^novelist, duellist (duelist) — equality, equalling (equaling) —
scandalous, libellous (libelous,) — cooler, woollen, (woolen) im-
moveable (immovable), removable, irremoveable (irremovable)
— appro vable, irreproveable (irreprovable)-:— ratable, saleable
(salable)— curable, sizeable (sizable), bkmeable (blamable)-**
ensure (insure)— -ensurance (insurance) — endict (indict)— en-
dorse (indorse) — enclose (inclose) — aught, nought (naught)—
rackoon (raccoon) — visiter (visitor) — instructer (instructors-
riband (ribin) — expense, from the Latin expensum, offence (of-
fense) from the Latin qfensus, offensive — correction, connexion
(connection) — stupify (stupefy), stupefaction — flax, axe (ax)—
honour (honor), honorary-^musick (music), musical, &c.v &c.

From the foregoing, it is evident that this spelling, to say
nothing of pronunciation, is not only more uniform than in
books founded on Walker's Dictionary, but also more nearly
agrees with present practice. General Rules for spellinq,
which are quite uniform in their application, are given on the
last two pages of the book, to which reference is to be made
while spelling the preceding lessons. By a proper attention to
those rules, the spelling of large classes of words, which is of-
ten mistaken, will be readily acquired.

The efforts of the Author, in preparing this Series, have thus
fiir met with a hearty response from the friends of education, in
the generous patronage they have extended to the works — hav-
ing been adopted in the schools of Cincinnati, Brooklyn, Pitts-
burgh, Rochester, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Dayton, Colum-
bus, Thirty Counties in the State of New York, etc. etc. etc.

It may here be mentioned, moreover, that the best evidence of
their merits, is evinced in the attempts that have been made, and
are making, to imitate them, in some cases by issuing new
books, but mostly in remodeling old ones.


Some of the particulars wherein these books, as a series, ex-
cel, are as follows:

1st. The Primary Books contain more reading, composed of
easy words — there being ninety pages made up of monosyh

2nd. The most difficult words of the reading are formed in-
to spelling lessons.

8rd. The Spelling Lessons precede the reading in which they

4th. In the Third and Fourth Readers, the most difficult
words are defined, in a general and literal sense.

Bth. The Progression from one book to another is more reg-
ular ^ gradual^ and philosophical

6th. The lessons are better adapted to interest and instrueij
and at the same time suited for the purpose of teaching read-

7th. The Practical and judicious use of Pictures, calcula-
ted to assist, not retard the efforts of teachers.

8th. The Practical and Elementary instructions in the Rhe^
torical principles of reading and speaking, being those of our
American Author, Dr. Porter. These are deduced from Nor
ture itself, and calculated fully to elucidate what is requisite to
read, or speak, with propriety — ^not to serve as a mere arbitrary
Guide, having no foundation in nature.

9th. In the exercises for reading, the Rhetorical notation is
adopted only where there is a liability to err, or in passages pe-
culiarly illustrative of some Rhetorical principle.

10th. Questions are placed at the end of the reading lessons,
as to the proper inflections, or other modulations of the voice,
Requisite to be used in reading with propriety.

11th. References are made to the Rhetorical instructions of
the former part, and the scholar is required to apply the princi-
ples there stated to the lesson before him.

12th. Words are divided into syllables in the 1st and 2nd
Readers, but in the 3d and 4th only where there is a liability to
mistake — thus requiring the exercise of the schoWs judg-
ment in ordinary cases, and rejecting the puerile practice of iu[-
ways doing it for them.

13th. The Print is more full, clear and distinct, gradually
diminishing from the largo print of the Primer to that of or-
dinary size, as found in the Fourth Reader.

14th. A greater variety will be found both in subject and style,
than IS usual in books of this character.

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16th. The spelling and pronunciation is uniformly that of
Dr. Webster.

Thb Publuhxbs deem it proper to statei that no books have been received by the
Pablic with greater favor than those of Sahdero'— they are adapted to all classes, fnm
the abecedarian to the most advanced classes in our Schools and Academies, and it is
believed the lessons will be found much more regularly progresaivct and inatrucUvm
than those of any other Series extant The Spbllbr, it may be safely said, has no
tqtud in value and intrinsic merit, among the numerous works of its class, claiming
the patronage of the American people ; the same, may with propriety be said of Turn
Pbimbk, both are used exclusively in the Public Schools of Cincinnati, and the «itira
Series in those of Fitsburgh and Dayton, and have been extensively introduced ia
each of tlie Suites of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan. In
the Empire State, (N. T.) so distinguished for her excellent system of Common Schooli^
and well endowed Academies, Samdbbs' Ssribs have received the recommenda-
tions of the principal Deputy Superintendents, and .Teachers* Associations, and been
genwally adopted.


Fkom hundreds of Pbaotkjal Thaohbbs of the highest respecubility In all parts
of the Union are before us, giving unequivocal testimony that ^tenders' School
Books aro rapcrlor to any of a eimilar ]&ind«

We subjoin some specimens—
/Vom the Rev. B. P. Aydelottf D. D., President of Woodward College, attd Preei

dent cf the Board qf Examiners and Inspectors qf Common Schools, CindnnaU.

Sanders' Series of School books, consisting of six volumes from *'Tbe Primary Scho(d
Priiner" to the "Fourth School Reader," were placed in my hands for examination.

They are very neatly executed in all that belong to the printer, engraver, and bind«r«

The matter has evidently been selected with great care, both in respect to the intel
lectual and moral instruction of the pupil. It would be invidious to compare this Se-
ries with others before the public, but this may with propriety be said, that I know nai
upon the whole a better set qf school books. The great number of new text books
continually brought before the public is much complained of, but it is only by such
continuous effort we can ever arrive at that perfection, at which it is alike our duty and
our interest to aim.

A vast improvement has certainly taken place in this department of education with*
in the last thirty years, and I believe it will rarely be found that any school book,
which has aatained to a respecUble circulation, is not in some respects better than any
that has proceeded it. Copy. (Signed) 6. P. AYDELOTTB.

Woodward College, Jan. 3, 1843.

f^rmn the distinguished instructor F. Q. Carsy, A. M. Principal qf Pleasant BiU

Academy, near Cincinnati.
' When I received 'the series of school readers by Sanders, my impression was, Oat
there was no demand for any further addition to the many already in use. And un-
der this impression I took up this series, and, after a critical examination, am constrain-
ed to say that it was entirely removed. I unhesitatingly- give this series of books my
decided preference, and as the best evidence of my regard, have introduced it, togeth-
«r with Sanders' Speller, into my institution.

Some of the points among the many that might be mentioned that prefer its clatans
to superiority, are, 1. It is more regularly progressive in its character, and consequent*
Iv better adapted to the mind in its various stages of advancement - an element of the
WBt importance in a series of school books. 2, The contents, embracing selections of
« high literary character, and decided moral tendency, from a great variety of authors,
principally American, are more deeply interesting to the young than those of most


fMden. a The lessoni on the elementaiy principles of our l&nguage, and the few
plain ivlee and exerciaes for reading correctly, as well as rhetorically, prefixed to tl^
4th Reader, are of great utility.

Online LibraryNathan Lewis Rice Jonathan BlanchardA debate on slavery: held in the city of Cincinnati,on the first ..., Part 4 → online text (page 43 of 46)