The Complete Works in Philosophy, Politics and Morals of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2 [of 3]

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 289

a common letter.

Let the pieces read by the scholars in this class be short; such as
Croxal's fables, and little stories. In giving the lesson, let it
be read to them; let the meaning of the difficult words in it be
explained to them; and let them con over by themselves before they
are called to read to the master or usher, who is to take particular
care, that they do not read too fast, and that they duly observe the
stops and pauses. A vocabulary of the most usual difficult words
might be formed for their use, with explanations; and they might
daily get a few of those words and explanations by heart, which would
a little exercise their memories; or at least they might write a
number of them in a small book for the purpose, which would help to
fix the meaning of those words in their minds, and at the same time
furnish every one with a little dictionary for his future use.

_The Second Class_

To be taught, reading with attention, and with proper modulations of
the voice, according to the sentiment and the subject.

Some short pieces, not exceeding the length of a Spectator, to be
given this class for lessons (and some of the easier Spectators would
be very suitable for the purpose). These lessons might be given every
night as tasks; the scholars to study them against the morning. Let
it then be required of them to give an account, first of the parts of
speech, and construction of one or two sentences. This will oblige
them to recur frequently to their grammar, and fix its principal
rules in their memory. Next, of the intention of the writer, or
the scope of the piece, the meaning of each sentence, and of every
uncommon word. This would early acquaint them with the meaning and
force of words, and give them that most necessary habit, of reading
with attention.

The master then to read the piece with the proper modulations of
voice, due emphasis, and suitable action, where action is required;
and put the youth on imitating his manner.

Where the author has used an expression not the best, let it be
pointed out; and let his beauties be particularly remarked to the

Let the lessons for reading be varied, that the youth may be made
acquainted with good styles of all kinds, in prose and verse, and
the proper manner of reading each kind--sometimes a well-told story,
a piece of a sermon, a general's speech to his soldiers, a speech
in a tragedy, some part of a comedy, an ode,

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Text Comparison with Benjamin Franklin and the First Balloons

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great Balloon was near, and a small one was discharg'd which went to an amazing Height, there being but little Wind to make it deviate from its perpendicular Course, and at length the Sight of it was lost.
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" in my copy; also a note dated Sept.
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