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´╗┐Title: McGuffey's Eclectic Primer, Revised Edition
Author: McGuffey, William Holmes, 1800-1873
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McGuffey's Eclectic Primer, Revised Edition" ***

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[Transcriber's Notes:

Welcome to the schoolroom of 1900. The moral tone is plain. "She is kind
to the old blind man."

The exercises are still suitable, and perhaps more helpful than some
contemporary alternatives. Much is left to the teacher. Explanations given
in the text are enough to get started teaching a child to read and write.
Counting in Roman numerals is included as a bonus in the form of lesson

Don Kostuch





[Illustration: Two children in hammock.]

McGuffey Editions and Colophon are Trademarks of


Copyright, 1881, By Van Antwerp, Brag & Co.

Copyright, 1896, By American Book Company.

Copyright, 1909, By Henry H. Vail.

EP 179


The flattering success of McGuffey's Revised Readers, and the inquiry for
more primary reading matter to be used in the first year of school work,
have induced the Publishers to prepare a REVISED PRIMER, which may be used
to precede the First Reader of any well arranged series.

The method pursued is the same as that in McGuffey's Revised Readers, and
the greatest possible care has been taken to insure a gradation suited to
the youngest children. Only about six new words are to be mastered in each
lesson. These new words and the new elementary sounds are always to be
found in the vocabulary of the lesson in which they are first used.

The plan of the book enables the teacher to pursue the Phonic Method, the
Word Method, the Alphabet Method, or any combination of these methods.

Illustrations of the best character have been freely supplied, and the
skilled teacher will be able to use them to great advantage.

The script exercises throughout the book and the slate exercises at the
close, have been specially written and carefully engraved for this Primer;
they may be used to teach the reading of script, and as exercises in
learning to write.

In the full confidence that the public will appreciate a cheap and
attractive Primer of this character, the Publishers have spared no expense
to make this book equal, in type, paper, and illustrations, to any that
have been issued from their Press.




a b c d
e f g h
i j k l
m n o p
q r s t
u v w x
y z

[Illustration: Cat watching moth.]

McGuffey's Eclectic Primer

Lesson 1

a   and  eat  rat

a   e   d   n   r   t

[Illustration: Rat]

a rat    a cat

A cat    A rat

A cat and a rat.

A rat and a cat.


at    the   ran   has

Ann   h     th    s

[Illustration: Cat]

The cat       the rat

The cat has a rat.

The rat ran at Ann.

Ann has a cat.

The cat ran at the rat.


Nat  hat  fan   can   f

[Illustration: Children playing at the seashore.]

a fan       a hat

Ann and Nat.

Ann has a fan.

Nat has a hat.

Ann can fan Nat.


man   cap   lad   sat

l   m   p   s

[Illustration: Boy running and old man, with gout, sitting.]

a cap       the lad

A man and a lad.

The man sat; the lad ran.

The man has a hat.

The lad has a cap.


The cat and the rat ran.

Ann sat, and Nat ran.

A rat ran at Nat.

Can Ann fan the lad?

The man and the lad.

The man has a cap.

The lad has a fan.

Has Ann a hat?

Ann has a hat and a fan.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:

a  at  rat  sat

can   cap   lad   and

The cat ran. Ann ran.

The man has a hat.


dog   Rab   fat   Nat's

o   b   g

[Illustration: Boy and dog watching cat on post.]

Nat's cap      a fat dog

Has the lad a dog?

The lad has a fat dog.

The dog has Nat's cap.

Nat and Rab ran.

Rab ran at a cat.


see  sees   frog

on   log   e

[Illustration: Boy sitting on fence, watching frog sitting on log.]

a log       the frog

See the frog on a log.

Rab sees the frog.

Can the frog see Rab?

The frog can see the dog.

Rab ran at the frog.


it   stand   Ann's   is   lamp   mat   i

[Illustration: Mother with girl holding cat, by lamplight.]

a mat       the stand

See the lamp! It is on a mat.

The mat is on the stand.

The lamp is Nat's, and the mat is Ann's.


Tom   nag   not   him   catch   he   his    ch

[Illustration: Boy and dog chasing horse.]

See the nag! It is Tom's nag.

Can Tom catch his nag?

He can not catch him.

The dog ran at the nag, and the nag ran.


Tom's nag is fat; his dog is not fat.

Nat is on Tom's nag.

Nat's dog, Rab, can not catch the rat.

See the frog on the log.

A lad sees the frog.

The lad can not catch it.

A cat is on the mat; the cat sees a rat.

Ann's fan is on the stand.

The man has a lamp.

A dog ran at the man.

Ann sat on a log.

[Illustration: Script exercise:

Tom sees Nat's dog.

A fat frog is on the log.

Can not Rab catch it?


nest   this   eggs   she  in   get   box   hen

e   x   sh

[Illustration: Cat watching hen, watching eggs in nest.]

the box     a nest

This is a fat hen.

The hen has a nest in the box.

She has eggs in the nest.

A cat sees the nest, and can get the eggs.


old  run  fox  o  u

[Illustration: Dog chasing fox away from a hen.]

Can this old fox catch the hen?

The fox can catch the hen, and get the eggs in the nest.

Run, Rab, and catch the fox.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:
This nest has eggs in it.


pond   ducks   them   feed   Nell   I   by   will

i   y   ch   w

[Illustration: Girl watching ducks on pond.]

Nell is by the pond.

I see ducks on the pond.

Nell sees the ducks, and will feed them.

She can not get the ducks


holds   to   blind   Mary   hand   kind
a    o    k    y

[Illustration: Girl lead old, blind man.]

This old man can not see.

He is blind.

Mary holds him by the hand.

She is kind to the old blind man.


I see ducks on the pond; Tom will feed them.

Tom is blind; he holds a box in his hand.

Nell is kind to him.

This old hen has a nest.

Mary will run and get the eggs.


Sue  doll   dress   new   her

let  e   u   ew

[Illustration: Two girls sitting by tree, playing with dolls.]

Sue has a doll.

It has a new dress.

She will let Ann hold the doll in her hands, and Ann will fan it.

Sue is kind to Ann.


there   five   bird   tree   rob   do
e   i   v

[Illustration: Cat watching bird and eggs in nest on tree top.]

A bird is in the tree. It has a nest there.

The nest has five eggs in it.

Do not rob the nest.

Will the bird let the cat get her five eggs?


cage   pet   sing   lives   so   loves

o   g   ng

[Illustration: Bird perched on girl's hand.]

This is a pet bird.

It lives in a new cage.

It will stand on Sue's hand, and sing.

Sue loves her pet bird.

So do I love it.


are    you    yes       fast   too

like   boys   of (ov)   play

a     a     y     oy

[Illustration: Boys playing in snow by a canal. Town in background.]

Do you see the boys at play?

Yes, I see them; there are five of them.

Tom is too fat to run fast.

Nat can catch him.

I like to see boys play.


Sue has a doll and a pet bird.

Her doll has a new dress and a cap.

Sue loves Mary, and will let her hold the doll.

The pet bird lives in a cage. Sue and Mary will stand by the cage, and the
bird will sing.

There are birds in the tree by the pond. Can you see them?

Yes; there are five of them in a nest.

Tom will not rob a bird's nest. He is too kind to do so.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:
Nell will feed the ducks.

Sue has a new dress.


what   night owl   day   an   but  well   big   eyes   best

a   ow   wh

[Illustration: Owl perched on tree branch.]

What bird is this? It is an owl.

What big eyes it has!

Yes, but it can not see well by day.

The owl can see best at night.

Nat Pond has a pet owl.


grass   they   come   off   barn

shade   hot    cows   out

e       ou

[Illustration: Cows standing under a tree.]

The day is hot.

The cows are in the shade of the big tree.

They feed on the new grass.

Our cows do not run off.

At night they come to the barn.


soon   sun   neck        set

way   bell   one (wun)   their


[Illustration: Cows leaving pasture at subset.]

The sun will soon set.

The cows are on their way to the barn.

One old cow has a bell on her neck. She sees our dog, but she will not

Our dog is kind to the cows


brave   if    ship   boat

drown   men   rock   save

[Illustration: Men rowing through storm to shipwreck.]

The ship has run on a rock.

Five men are on the ship.

If the boat can not get to them, they will drown.

The boat has brave men in it. They will save the five men.


Come, boys, and feed the cows. The sun has set, and they are at the barn.

Sue has a bell on the neck of her pet cat.

One hot day Ann and Nell sat on the grass in the shade of a big tree. They
like to rock their dolls, and sing to them.

The brave men in our boat are on their way to the ship. They will save the
men in the ship, if they can. They will not let them drown.

What bird has big eyes? The owl. Can an owl see at night? Yes, an owl can
see best at night.


fall   ice   skates   cry   with   had   stone    did

a   c   sk

[Illustration: Children skating on pond in winter.]

The boys are on the ice with their skates.

There is a stone on the ice.

One boy did not see it, and has had a fall.

But he is a brave boy, and will not cry.

[Illustration: Sawmill near river; town and hillside in background.
two children playing near river in foreground.]


look   go     John   here   all    wheel   mill   have   round

oo     j

Look! there are John and Sue by the mill pond.

They like to see the big wheel go round.

They have come to play on the logs and in the boat.

John and Sue will play here all day.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:

The cows like grass.

They stand in the shade.


or   Jane   girls   floor   roll   some   which   black


Here are some girls with skates; but they are not on the ice.

Their skates roll on the floor. Which way do you like to skate,--on the
ice, or on the floor?

The girl with the new black dress is Jane Bell.

[Illustration: Four girls roller-skating.]


for     out      as     how    try   horse   should   hurt   ears   be

o       no       u

[Illustration: Train approaching railroad crossing;
two boys and a horse and wagon waiting to cross tracks.]

Look out for the cars!

How fast they come!

No horse can go as fast as the cars.

I will not try to catch them, for I should fall and be hurt.

See the horse look at the cars.

Will he not run?


There is ice on the pond, and the mill wheel can not go round.

The boys are all out on the ice with their skates.

I will let you and Tom try to skate; but do not fall, for you will be

Look! here come the cars.

John and Nat try to skate as fast as the cars go, but they can not. John
has had a fall.

The girls are not on the pond; but some of them have skates which roll on
the floor.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:

How fast the cars go!

Can you see them?


work   ax    pile   Ned   think   wood   saw   hard   cut

o      th    n

[Illustration: Two boys, one sawing, the other chopping logs.]

Ned and John are hard at work. John has a saw, and Ned has an ax.

They will try to cut all of the wood which you see in the pile.

Do you think they can do this in one day


noise   air   hear   gone   May   walk   cool   two

a       oi

[Illustration: Two girls walking near a lake. Men working and boys playing
in background.]

Two girls have gone out for a walk.

It is May, and the air is cool. They hear the birds sing in the trees, and
they hear the noise of the frogs in the pond.

They see men at work and boys at play.


pull   cart   goats   Bess   up   ride   hill


[Illustration: Girl riding in small cart pulled by two goats.]

Bess has a cart and two goats.

She likes to ride in her cart.

See how the goats pull!

Bess is so big, I think she should walk up the hill.

The goats love Bess, for she feeds them, and is kind to them.


blaze   put   yet    house   fire    roof  call   ring   we


[Illustration: Boys running in front of burning house.]

This house is on fire.

Look! the roof is in a blaze.

Run, boys, and ring the bell. Call some men to put out the fire.

We may yet save the house, if we work hard


Bess, do you hear a noise?

Yes, Tom; what is it?

It is the mill by our house; logs are cut there.

How do they cut the logs, Tom,--with an ax?

Not with an ax, Bess; it is too hard work; they cut them with a saw.

May we not go and see the mill at work, Tom?

Yes, I think so. The air is cool, and we can walk in the shade. We should
go soon, Bess, or the pile of wood will be gone.

Our two goats and the cart are here, Tom; we can ride to the mill. It is
not up hill, and the goats can pull us fast.


Miss   wants   would   tells   rule   keep   good   that   each

[Illustration: Six children surrounding young woman.]

The girls and boys all love Miss May; she is so kind to them.

Miss May tells them there is a rule that she wants them to keep. It is,
"Do to each one as you would like each one to do to you."

This is a good rule, and all boys and girls should keep it.


school   child   church   when   books   skates

[Illustration: Several people standing in front of school that appears
similar to a small church.]

What kind of house is this?

Do you think it is a schoolhouse, or a church?

It looks like a church, but I think it is a schoolhouse.

I see the boys and girls with their books and slates.

When the bell rings, they will go in.

A good child likes to go to school.


quail   quick   seen   kill   me   oh   eat   first   know   Henry


[Illustration: Quail in brush.]

"John! come here. Be quick, and tell me what kind of bird this is."

"Do you not know, Henry?"

"Oh, no! what is it?" "It is a quail."

"It is the first quail I have seen. Is it good to eat?"

"Yes; but I should not like to kill it."


Kate   dear   name   blue   baby   near   shut   crib   sit

[Illustration: Baby sleeping in crib.]

Is not this a dear baby in the crib?

Her name is Kate, and she has big, blue eyes. You can not see her eyes,
for they are shut.

Kate is a good baby; but she will cry if she is hurt, or if she is not

Bess likes to sit near the baby, and to rock her in the crib.


Henry Black and Ned Bell live near our house. They go to school, and I see
them go by each day with their books and slates.

Miss May tells the girls and boys that they should be at the schoolhouse
when the bell rings. So Henry walks fast, and is first at school. He is a
good boy, and wants to keep the rule of the school.

Ned is not a good boy. I do not think he likes to go to school or to

I saw him try to kill a quail with a stone. The quail is too quick a bird
for that, and Ned did not hurt it; but I know that a good child would not
try to kill a bird.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:
There is a baby at Ned's house. Her name is Kate. Ned is not a good boy,
but he loves Kate, and I do not think he would hurt her.


light   far   its    high   where   sea   tall   were

The tall house which you see on that high rock is a lighthouse. At night
its light is seen far out at sea, and the men on ships can tell where to

If it were not for this, they would run on the rocks.

How would you like to live in a lighthouse?

[Illustration: Lighthouse on cliff above pounding surf.]


wrong   wolf   us   my   took   sheep   more   watch   lambs

[Illustration: Sheep grazing under a tree. Two boys watching from fence
in the background.]

Let us watch the sheep as they feed on the hills. They like to eat the new

Do you see my two lambs? I had two more; but an old wolf took them one

I love my pet lambs. It would be wrong to hurt them


laugh   snow   head   fun   mouth   made   pipe

gh (as f)

[Illustration: Three boys making a snowman; two children in foreground
carrying water buckets.]

The boys have made a big snow man.

They have put a tall hat on his head, and an old pipe in his mouth.

Hear them laugh as they play!

It is good fun for the boys.

They would like to have it snow all day and all night.


sweets   mean   please   bee   buzz     vine   could
said (sed)      once (wuns)

[Illustration: Bee flying near vine.]

"Buzz! buzz!" a bee said to Mary.

"What do you mean?" said Mary. "Please tell me once more."

"Buzz! buzz! buzz!" but Mary could not tell its wants.

I think it said, "Please let me get some sweets in this vine.


One day Nat and I sat on the high hill by the sea, where the tall
lighthouse stands. We could look far out, and could see the ships at sea.

As we sat there, we saw a man near by, with some sheep and lambs. The man
had a pipe in his mouth. He sat with us, and let the sheep eat the grass.

What fun it is to see lambs play! It made us laugh to see them.

The man said that once, when the sheep and lambs were out in the snow, an
old wolf took one of the lambs, and ran off with it.

I think that men should watch their sheep, so that a wolf can not catch


while   might   time   things   done    right   your   halves

[Illustration: Script Exercise:
Work while you work,
   Play while you play,
One thing each time,
   That is the way.

All that you do,
   Do with your might,
Things done by halves,
   Are not done right.


went     fish   fell    safe   arms   sprang   was    thank   got

[Illustration: Boy fishing from log.]

One day John went to the pond to fish. His dog, Watch, went with him.

John sat on a log for a time, but did not catch a fish.

As he got up to go, he fell off the log. Watch sprang in to save him. John
put his arms round the dog's neck, and was soon safe on the log once more.

"Thank you, my brave old dog," said John to Watch.


James   asks   warm   town   then   drives   been(bin)   show

[Illustration: Girl talking to boy leading horse and wagon.]

James has been to the mill.

The day is warm, and he lets his horse stand in the shade.

A girl asks him to show her the way to the town. He tells her the way, and
then drives on.


I'll   she'll   don't   puss   pur   pat   fur   harm   deeds

[Illustration: Kitten.]

I love my dear puss,
  Her fur is so warm;
And, if I don't hurt her,
   She'll do me no harm.

I'll pat my dear puss,
  And then she will pur,
And show me her thanks
  For my kind deeds to her.


now   wreaths   who   queen   woods   shall   crown

[Illustration: Children playing in wood. Two boys in foreground playing a
fife and drum.]

It is the first of May.  The boys and girls have gone to the woods to have
a good time. See them at their play.

The girls have wreaths in their hands.

Now they will crown some one Queen of the May. Who shall it be?

It should be the best girl, and that is Kate.


God   small   from   world   moon   shine   nut   long   ago

[Illustration: Small girl watching a tree. Two acorns shown in inset.]

Do you see that tall tree?

Long ago it sprang up from a small nut.

Do you know who made it do so?

It was God, my child. God made the world and all things in it. He made the
sun to light the day, and the moon to shine at night.

God shows that he loves us by all that he has done for us. Should we not
then love him?


Lord   smile   joys   tears   nigh   morn   griefs   woes   stars   say

[Illustration: Sunset; lake in foreground; moon and stars.]

When the stars, at set of sun,
  Watch you from on high;
When the light of morn has come,
  Think the Lord is nigh

All you do, and all you say,
  He can see and hear;
When you work and when you play,
  Think the Lord is near.

All your joys and griefs he knows,
  Sees each smile and tear;
When to him you tell your woes,
  Know the Lord will hear


[Illustration: Script Exercise:

n  u  n   nun
u  r  n   urn
s  u  n   sun
c  o  w   cow
s  a  w   saw

r  i  m   rim
c  a  t   cat
l  a  d   lad
b  o  x   box
h  e  n   hen
k  i  d   kid
q  u  o   quo

p  e  n   pen
j  a  r   jar
e  y  e   eye
g  u  n   gun
v  i  z   viz
i  v  y   ivy
f  a  n   fan


[Illustration: Script Exercise:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G

H  I  J  K  L  M  N

O  P  Q  R  S  Y  U

V  W  X  Y  Z

a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h

i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q

r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z


1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  0

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