« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
A TCR, LENOX ANI
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, VIZ.
District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the thirtieth day of June, A. D. 1825, in the fortyninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Richardson and Lord, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit :
“A Compend of History, from the earliest times; comprehending a General View of the Present State of the World, with respect to Civilization, Religion, and Government and a Brief Dissertation on the Importance of Historical Knowledge. By Samuel Whelpley, A. M. Principal of the Newark Academy. Eighth edition. With Corrections, and important Additions and Improvements. By Rev. Joseph Emerson, Principal of the Female Seminary at Wethersfield. Two volumes in one. Vol. I."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;' and also to an act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS,
REV. SAMUEL MILLER, D.D.,
ONE OF THE MINISTERS OF THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES IN
THE CITY OF NEW YORK, &c. &c.
With little more claim on you, than what the mass of society have on the benevolent notice of the learned, the wise and the good, I have presumed to inscribe to you, the following Compend of History; the chief merit of which, I am highly sensible, must consist much in the motive of the author. Destined by Providence to be intrusted with the education of youth, I have long regarded it as an important inquiry, what branches of knowledge and what modes of instruction are best calculated to benefit the young mind—what objects will be most likely to arrest the attention, enlarge the understanding, strengthen the memory, and promote virtuous dispositions.
Whilst, on the one hand, I have not the vanity to think, that I have made any important discoveries in this inquiry; so, neither am I discouraged, on the other, by the reflection, that the wise and learned in every age have been more or less engaged in the same inquiry. If the • Japse of ayes has corrected the errors of Lycurgus, Solon and Aristotle, it is presumed, that the most approved systems of the present day, having endured a similar test, will also be found defective.
The study of history is too much neglected in our present course of education; and I am strongly impressed with the belief, that children may lay a broad foundation for historical knowledge, while learning to read, and may become very generally acquainted with history, merely in a common course of school reading.
No species of instruction so easily or so deeply imprints itself on the memory of youth, as that which is clothed in simple narration and description; especially if that narration convey interesting facts—and if that description engage and delight the imagination. It has often been observed, that an early taste for reading is likely to enkindle in the mind a desire for general improvement; and, if I may be allowed to appeal to my own experience, the reading of history was the first thing which awakened in me a desire to study the sciences.
With these views, Reverend Sir, I have been induced to publish the following Compend. I have often found myself embarrassed in passing through so wide a field—with such rapidity. A selection and arrangement were desired, that would mark an upbroken line, and give the reader a just, general and connected impression. How far I have suoceeded in the attempt, the reader must judge. Had I more leisure, or a better judgment, the work would have been more correct. But, as it is, I hope it will answer the purpose for which it is designed, and, especially, that it may be so fortunate, as to gain the sanction of your approbation.
While modesty forbids me to say many things, which the voice of sincerity would prompt, I deem it but just to declare, that as far as dedication may be regarded as a mark of high personal respect-as far as presuming on the benevolent patronage of men of learning and talents is ever safe—and as far as a writer may hope to benefit his production, by inscribing it to a name, which must long adorn the temple of science so far I felicitate myself on this occasion;
And am, Reverend Sir,
your most obedient
It has been objected to Compends of history, that they are dry, uninteresting and tedious. By most of them, this censure is undoubtedly deserved, and justly charges them with a fault of no ordinary magnitude. This is a fault which must almost entirely exclude them from being used, except by those, to whom, lesson by lesson, they are as
signed, as tasks--as tasks by no means delightful. And when we consider, that it should be a grand and leading object in education to
fix the thought, to wake the slumbering energies of the mind, to unfold the faculties, and kindle a thirst for knowledge, we can hardly suppose, that such dreary tasks will be found very useful.
From the charge of dulness, however, it is confidently hoped, that this Compend will be forever exempted. It is found to be exceedingly interesting both to the beginner, and to the proficient in history. Even after the second and third reading, it still continues to charm. Much of it is written with a pathos and energy, that would not have disgraced the
pen of Chatham. But this is not its only excellence. The facts are well selected, and, in general, well arranged. We have most to regret, that the work is so short.
It is hoped, that the value of this edition is considerably enhancedthat it will be found much more correct, in various respects, than preceding editions. A few sentences have been omitted, as unimportant. The greatest liberty has been taken with the Chronological Tables, as not being of Mr. Whelpley's composition. Several of them, which were conjectural, or of little importance to us, have been omitted. Much time has been spent to render the rest as correct as possible.
It is believed, that the notes will be found both interesting and useful.