McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader
Category: Children
Genres: Reader
Level 4.01 7:00 h
McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader is a part of the primers for young readers. This set of books has been used as texts for students from grades 1-6 since the mid-19th century. The books contain essays, speeches, stories, and poems from some of the greatest writers in history for young readers to experience. Read this collection of powerful writing used by many as a foundation for learning. The book helps to develop vocabulary, enunciation, and learning new words.

McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader

William Holmes McGuffey

McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader

Introductory Matter

Punctuation Marks

1. The Hyphen (-) is used between syllables and between the parts of a compound word; as, No-ble, col-o-ny, and text-book, easy-chair.

2. The Comma (,), the Semicolon (;), and the Colon (:) denote grammatical divisions.

NOTE — These marks do not indicate the comparative length of the pauses to be made where they occur.

3. The Period (.) is placed at the end of a sentence. It is also used after an abbreviation; as, God is love. Dr. Eben Goodwin.

4. The Interrogation point (?) denotes a question; as, Has he come? Who are you?

5. The Exclamation point (!) denotes strong feeling; as, Oh Absaom! my son! my son!

6. Quotation marks (“ ”) denote the words of another; as, God said, “Let there be light.”

7. The Apostrophe (’) denotes that a letter or letters are left out; as, O’er, for over; ’t is, for it is. It also denotes the possessive case; as, John’s hat.

8. The Curves ( ) include what, if omitted, would not obscure the sense. The parenthesis, or words included by the curves, should be read in a low key, and with greater rapidity than the rest of the sentence.

9. Brackets [ ] include something intended to exemplify what goes before, or to supply some deficiency, or rectify some mistake.

10. A Dash (-) denotes a long or significant pause, or an abrupt change or transition in a sentence.

11. Marks of Ellipsis (***) indicate the omission of letters of a word, or words of a sentence; as, P****e J**n, for Prince John; the ******* was hung, for the traitor was hung.

Sometimes a long line, or a succession of dots is used instead of stars; as, J--n A---s, for John Adams; the D..e W…..m, for the Duke William.

12. A Brace (}) is used to connect several lines or words together.

13. A Diaeresis is put over the latter of two vowels, to show that they belong to two distinct syllables; thus, cooperate.

14. A Section is used to divide a discourse or chapter into parts.

15. An Index points out something that requires particular attention.

16. A Paragraph denotes a new subject. It is used in the common version of the Bible.

17. Certain marks and sometimes figures and letters are used to refer to some remark in the margin.

18. A Caret (^) is used in writing, to show that something is omitted; as, Manner. I love her for her modesty and virtue.


Elementary Sounds

Articulation is the utterance of the elementary sounds of a language, and of their combinations.

An Elementary Sound is a simple, distinct sound made by the organs of speech.

The Elementary Sounds of the English language are divided into Vocals, Subvocals, and Aspirates.

Vocals are those sounds which consist of pure tone only. They are the most prominent elements of speech. A diphthong is a union of two vocals, commencing with one and ending with the other.

Subvocals are those sounds in which the vocalized breath is more or less obstructed.

Aspirates consist of breath only, modified by the vocal organs.



1. Let the mouth be open, and the teeth, tongue, and palate in their proper position.

2. Pronounce the word in the CHART forcibly, and with the falling inflection, several times in succession; then drop the subvocal or aspirate sounds which precede or follow the vocal, and repeat the vocals alone.


Long Vocals

McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader

Short Vocals

McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader

REMARK. — In this table, the short sounds, except u, are nearly or quite the same, in quality, as certain of the long sounds. The difference consists chiefly in quantity. As a rule, the long vocals should be prolonged with a full, clear utterance; but the short vocals should be uttered sharply and almost explosively.


oi, oy, as in coin, boy.
ou, ow, as in noun, now.

Subvocals and Aspirates

DIRECTIONS FOR ARTICULATION. — Pronounce distinctly and forcibly, several times in succession, words in which these sounds occur as elements; then drop the other sounds, and repeat the subvocals and aspirates alone. Each subvocal in the first table should be practiced in connection with its cognate sound.

Let the class repeat the words and elements, at first in concert; then separately.

Select words ending with subvocal sounds for practice on subvocals; words beginning or ending with aspirate sounds, for practice on aspirates.

Cognate Sounds

McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader

REMARK. — These eighteen sounds make nine pairs of cognate sounds. In articulating the aspirates, the vocal organs are put in the position as required for the articulation of the corresponding subvocals; but the breath is expelled with some force, without the utterance of any vocal sound. Let the pupil verify this by experiment, and then practice on these cognates.

The following sounds are not cognates.


McGuffey's Fourth Eclectic Reader


h, as in hat.


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