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H. Reynell, Printer, No. 21, Piccadilly, London.

PREFACE

TO THE

FIRST EDITION.

We shall not imitate the invidious example of some authors, who think it necessary to destroy the edifices of others, in order to clear the way for their own. Indeed, as we have no peculiar system to support, we have no temptation to attack the theories of former writers : and to point out that we rely entirely upon practice and experience, we have chosen the title of Essays on Practical Education.

To make any progress in the art of education, it must be patiently reduced to an experimental science; we are fully sensible of the extent and difficulty of this undertaking, and we have not the arrogance to imagine, that we have made any considerable progress in a work, which the labours of many generations may, perhaps, be insufficient to complete ; but we lay before the public the result of our experiments, and in many instances the experiments themselves. In pursuing this part of our plan, we have sometimes descended from that elevation of style, which the reader might expect in a quarto volume'; we have frequently been obliged to record facts concerning children which may seem trifling, and to enter into a minuteness of detail which may appear unnecessary. No anecdotes, however, have been admitted without due deliberation; nothing has been introduced to gratify the idle

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