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The value of Poetry, as a means of educating the young, is too generally acknowledged to require at the present day any arguments in its favour. It is a recognised fact, that little children are taught more pleasantly and more efficiently by lessons in verse than they ever are by lessons in prose. Metre and rhyme are such agreeable and important aids to memory, that by their use the acquisition of knowledge is rendered a pleasure instead of a task; while the memory itself, by frequent exercise in metrical compositions, acquires fresh strength and capacity. The habit of reciting poems is most valuable, and, according to Lord Clarendon, “is the best and most natural way to introduce an assurance and confidence in speaking, with that leisure and tone of pronunciation that is decent and graceful, and in which so few men are excellent for want of information and care when they are young.” This “ leisure" in speaking cannot be inculcated too early; as
if it be neglected in infancy, it will be acquired with difficulty, if at all, after a contrary habit has been indulged.
In preparing this little volume for young children, the compiler has endeavoured to bring together such maxims of morality, of kindness, of self-denial, and of filial and brotherly love, as, while they commend themselves to parents, are calculated to make a permanent impression upon the infant mind. At the same time, care has been taken to cull the selections from the best sources, with a view to the formation of a correct taste. It
be added that variety and entertainment have not been lost sight of in the compilation.
The grateful acknowledgments of the compiler are due to those authors and publishers who have kindly consented to the insertion in this volume of pieces which are copyright.
“Cottage Bread,” from which several Poems are taken, is published by W. Yapp, Old Cavendish Street.