Macmillan's Reading Books. Book V
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Title: MacMillan's Reading Books Book V
Release Date: February 22, 2004 [EBook #11230]
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For Ordinary Pass.
Improved reading, and recitation of not less than seventy-five lines ofpoetry.
N.B.—The passages for recitation may be taken from one or more standardauthors, previously approved by the Inspector. Meaning and allusions tobe known, and, if well known, to atone for deficiencies of memory.
For Special Grant (Art. 19, C. 1).
Parsing, with analysis of a "simple" sentence.
For Ordinary Pass.
Reading, with expression, a short passage of prose or of poetry, withexplanation, grammar, and elementary analysis of simple sentences.
Specific Subject—English literature and language, 2nd year. (Art. 21and Schedule IV., Scotch Code.)
Three hundred lines of poetry, not before brought up, repeated; withknowledge of meaning and allusions, and of the derivations of words.
PREFACE TO BOOK V.
This seems a fitting place in which to explain the general aim ofthis series of Reading Books. Primarily, it is intended to provide asystematic course for use in schools which are under State inspection;and, with this view, each Book in the series, after the Primer, is drawnup so as to meet the requirements, as set forth in the English andScotch codes issued by the Committees of Council on Education, of theStandard to which it corresponds.
This special adaptation will not, it is hoped, render the series lessuseful in other schools. The graduated arrangement of the books,although, perhaps, one to which every teacher may not choose to conform,may yet serve as a test by which to compare the attainments of thepupils in any particular school with those which, according to thecodes, may be taken as the average expected from the pupils in schoolswhere the Standard examination is, necessarily, enforced.
The general character of the series is literary, and not technical.Scientific extracts have been avoided. The teaching of special subjectsis separately recognised by the codes, and provided for by the numerousspecial handbooks which have been published. The separation of thereading class from such teaching will prove a gain to both. The formermust aim chiefly at giving to the pupils the power of accurate, and,if possible, apt and skilful expression; at cultivating in them a goodliterary taste, and at arousing a desire of further reading. Allthis, it is believed, can best be done where no special or technicalinformation has to be extracted from the passages read.
In the earlier Books the subject, the language, and the moral are allas direct and simple as possible. As they advance, the language becomesrather more intricate, because a studied simplicity, when detectedby the pupil, repels rather than attracts him. The subjects are moremiscellaneous; but still, as far as possible, kept to those which canappeal to the minds of scholars of eleven or twelve years of age,without either calling for, or encouraging, precocity. In Books II.,III., and IV., a few old ballads and other pieces have been purposelyintroduced; as nothing so readily expands the mind and lifts it out ofhabitual and sluggish modes of thought, as forcing upon the attentionthe expressions and the thoughts of an entirely different time.
The last, or Sixth Book, may be thought too advanced for its purpose.But, in the first place, many of the pieces given in it, though selectedfor their special excellence, do not involve any special difficulties;and, in the second place, it will be seen that the requirements of theEnglish Code of 1875 in the Sixth Standard really correspond in somedegree to those of the special subject of English literature, formerlyrecognised by the English, and still recognised by the Scotch Code.Besides this, the Sixth Book is intended to supply the needs of pupilteachers and of higher classes; and to be of interest enough to be readby the scholar out of school-hours, perhaps even after school is donewith altogether. To such it may supply the bare outlines of Englishliterature; and may, at least, introduce them to the best Englishauthors. The aim of all the extracts in the book may not be fullycaught, as their beauty certainly cannot be fully appreciated, byyouths; but they may, at least, serve the purpose of all education—thatof stimulating the pupil to know more.
The editor has to return his thanks for the kindness by which certainextracts have been placed at his disposal by the following authorsand publishers:—Mr. Ruskin and Mr. William Allingham; Mr. Nimmo (forextract from Hugh Miller's works); Mr. Nelson (for poems by Mr. and Mrs.Howitt); Messrs. Edmonston and Douglas (for extract from Dasent's "Talesfrom the Norse"); Messrs. Chapman and Hall (for extracts from the worksof Charles Dickens and Mr. Carlyle); Messrs. Longmans, Green, and Co.(for extracts from the works of Macaulay and Mr. Froude); Messrs.Routledge and Co. (for extracts from Miss Martineau's works); Mr. Murray(for extracts from the works of Dean Stanley); and many others.
INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF DR. JOHNSON Warner's Tour in the Northern
THE OLD PHILOSOPHER AND THE YOUNG LADY Jane Taylor
BARBARA S—— Charles Lamb
DR. ARNOLD Tom Brown's School Days
BOYHOOD'S WORK [ditto]
WORK IN THE WORLD [ditto]
CASTLES IN THE AIR Addison
THE DEATH OF NELSON Southey
LEARNING TO RIDE T. Hughes
MOSES AT THE FAIR Goldsmith
WHANG THE MILLER [ditto]
AN ESCAPE Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
NECESSITY THE MOTHER OF INVENTION [ditto]
LABRADOR Southey's Omniana
GROWTH OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY Robertson
A WHALE HUNT Scott
A SHIPWRECK Charles Kingsley
THE BLACK PRINCE Dean Stanley
THE ASSEMBLY OF URI E.A. Freeman
MY WINTER GARDEN Charles Kingsley
ASPECTS OF NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN COUNTRIES John Ruskin
COLUMBUS IN SIGHT OF LAND Washington Irving
COLUMBUS SHIPWRECKED [ditto]
ROBBED IN THE DESERT Mungo Park
ARISTIDES Plutarch's Lives
THE VENERABLE BEDE J.R. Green
THE DEATH OF ANSELM Dean Church
THE MURDER OF BECKET Dean Stanley
THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH J.R. Green
THE BATTLE OF NASEBY Defoe
THE PILGRIMS AND GIANT DESPAIR Bunyan
A HARD WINTER Rev. Gilbert White
A PORTENTOUS SUMMER [ditto]
A THUNDERSTORM [ditto]
CHARACTER OF SIR WALTER SCOTT J. Lockhart
MUMPS'S HALL Scott
THE PORTEOUS MOB [ditto]
THE PORTEOUS MOB (continued) [ditto]
JOSIAH WEDGWOOD Speech by Mr. Gladstone
THE CRIMEAN WAR Speech by Mr. Disraeli
NATIONAL MORALITY Speech by Mr. Bright
THE PLEASURES OF A LIFE OF LABOUR Hugh Miller
THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS Rev. Gilbert White
THE BATTLE OF CORUNNA Napier
BATTLE OF ALBUERA Napier
CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE AT BALAKLAVA _The "Times" Correspondent
AFRICAN HOSPITALITY Mungo Park
ACROSS THE DESERT OF NUBIA Bruce's Travels
A SHIPWRECK ON THE ARABIAN COAST W.G. Palgrave
AN ARABIAN TOWN W.G. Palgrave
THE QUEST OF THE HOLY GRAIL Sir Thomas Malory
VISIT TO SIR ROGER DE COVERLEY'S COUNTRY SEAT Addison
THE DEAD ASS Sterne
THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH H.W. Longfellow
MEN OF ENGLAND Campbell
A BALLAD Goldsmith
A PSALM OF LIFE H.W. Longfellow
THE ANT AND THE CATERPILLAR Cunningham
REPORT OF AN ADJUDGED CASE Couper
THE INCHCAPE BELL Southey
BATTLE OF THE BALME Campbell
THE CHAMELEON Merrick
A WISH Pope
A SEA SONG Cunningham
ON THE LOSS OF THE 'ROYAL GEORGE' Cowper
RULE BRITANNIA Thomson
ANCIENT GREECE Byron
THE TEMPLE OF FAME Pope
A HAPPY LIFE Sir Henry Wotton
MAN'S SERVANTS George Herbert
VIRTUE George Herbert
DEATH THE CONQUEROR James Shirley
THE PASSIONS Collins
THE VISION OF BELSHAZZAR Byron
YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND Campbell
A SHIPWRECK Byron
THE HAPPY WARRIOR Wordsworth
THE TROSACHS Scott
LOCHIEL'S WARNING Campbell
REST FROM BATTLE Pope
THE SAXON AND THE GAEL Scott
THE SAXON AND THE GAEL (continued) Scott
THE WINTER EVENING Cowper
HYMN TO DIANA Ben Jonson
THE VILLAGE Goldsmith
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Shakespeare
IL PENSEROSO Milton
Throughout this book, and the next, you will find passages taken fromthe writings of the best English authors. But the passages are not allequal, nor are they all such as we would call "the best," and the moreyou read and are able to judge them for yourselves, the better you willbe able to see what is the difference between the best and those thatare not so good.
By the best authors are meant those who have written most skilfullyin prose and verse. Some of these have written in prose, because theywished to tell us something more fully and freely than they could do ifthey tied themselves to lines of an equal number of syllables, or endingwith the same sound, as men do when they write poetry. Others havewritten in verse, because they wished rather to make us think overand over again about the same thing, and, by doing so, to teachus, gradually, how much we could learn from one thing; if we thinksufficiently long and carefully about it; and, besides this, they knewthat rhythmical or musical language would keep longest in our memoryanything which they wished to remain there; and by being stored up inour mind, would enrich us in all our lives after.
In these books you will find pieces taken from authors both in prose andverse. But of the authors who have made themselves famous by the bookswhich they have written in our language, many had to be set aside.Because many writers, though their books are famous, have written solong ago, that the language which they use, though it is really the samelanguage as our own, is yet so old-fashioned that it is not readilyunderstood. By and by, when you are older, you may read these books, andfind it interesting to notice how the language is gradually changing; sothat, though we can easily understand what our grandfathers or our greatgrandfathers wrote, yet we cannot understand, without carefully studyingit, what was written by our own ancestors a thousand, or even fivehundred, years ago.
The first thing, however, that you have to do—and, perhaps, this bookmay help you to do it—is to learn what is the best way of writing orspeaking our own language of the present day. You cannot learn thisbetter than by reading and remembering what has been written by men,who, because they were very great, or because they laboured very hard,have obtained a great command over the language. When we speak ofobtaining a command over language we mean that they have been able tosay, in simple, plain words, exactly what they mean. This is not so easya matter as you may at first think it to be. Those who write well do notuse roundabout ways of saying a thing, or they might weary us; theydo not use words or expressions which might mean one or other of twothings, or they might confuse us; they do not use bombastic language, orlanguage which is like a vulgar and too gaudy dress, or they might makeus laugh at them; they do not use exaggerated language, or, worse thanall, they might deceive us. If you look at many books which are writtenat the present day, or at many of the newspapers which appear everymorning, you will find that those who write them often forget theserules; and after we have read for a short time what they have written,we are doubtful about what they mean, and only sure that they are tryingto attract foolish people, who like bombastic language as they like toogaudy dress, and are caring little whether what they write is strictlytrue or not.
It is, therefore, very important that you should take as your examplesthose who have written very well