fot'nmetG of Ctactcete
The literature of the English language is rich in
material suited to this intent; no other language is
better endowed. This material is fresh to every
pupil, no matter how familiar it may be to teacher
or parent. Although some of it has been in print
for three centuries, it is true and beautiful today.
President Eliot has said, "When we teach a child
to read, our primary aim is not to enable it to de-
cipher a way-bill or a receipt, but to kindle its im-
agination, enlarge its vision and open for it the
avenues of knowledge." Knowledge gives power,
which may be exerted for good or for evil. Char-
acter gives direction to power. Power is the engine
which may force the steamer through the water,
character is the helm which renders the power ser-
viceable for good.
Readers which have been recognized as formers
of good habits of action, thought, and speech for
three-quarters of a century, which have taught a
sound morality to millions of children without giv.
ing offense to the most violent sectarian, which have
opened the doors of pure literature to all their users,
are surely worthy of study as to their origin, their
successive changes, and their subsequent career.
The story of these readers is told in the specimens
of the several editions, in the long treasured and
time-worn contracts, in the books of accounts kept
by the successive publishers, and in the traditions
which have been passed down from white haired men
who gossiped of the early days in the school-