Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader
Category: Children
Genres: Reader
Level 3.02 2:42 h
McGuffey's Third 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 to help teach memorization, vocabulary, reading, and speech. The books increase in difficulty as the volume number gets higher. McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, and are still used today in homeschooling. The third Reader taught the definitions of words and was written at a level equivalent to the modern 5th or 6th grade.

McGuffey's Third Eclectic Reader

William Holmes McGuffey

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

Lesson I
The Shepherd Boy

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

Little Roy led his sheep down to pasture,
And his cows by the side of the brook;
But his cows never drank any water,
And his sheep never needed a crook.

For the pasture was gay as a garden,
And it glowed with a flowery red;
But the meadows had never a grass blade,
And the brooklet — it slept in its bed:

And it lay without urmur,
Nor reflected the blue of the skies;
But the music was made by the shepherd,
And the sparkle was all in his eyes.

Oh, he sang like a bird in the summer!
And, if sometimes you fancied a bleat,
That, too, was the voice of the shepherd,
And not of the lambs at his feet.

And the glossy brown cows were so gentle
That they moved at the touch of his hand
O'er the wonderful, rosy-red meadow,
And they stood at the word of command.

So he led all his sheep to the pasture,
And his cows, by the side of the brook;
Though it rained, yet the rain never pattered
O'er the beautiful way that they took.

And it was n’t in Fairyland either,
But a house in the midst of the town,
Where Roy, as he looked from the window,
Saw the silvery drops trickle down.

For his pasture was only a table,
With its cover so flowery fair,
And his brooklet was just a green ribbon,
That his sister had lost from her hair.

And his cows were but glossy horse-chestnuts,
That had grown on his grandfather’s tree;
And his sheep only snowy-white pebbles,
He had brought from the shore of the sea.

And at length when the shepherd was weary,
And had taken his milk and his bread,
And his mother had kissed him and tucked him,
And had bid him “good night” in his bed;

Then there entered his big brother Walter,
While the shepherd was soundly asleep,
And he cut up the cows into baskets,
And to jackstones turned all of the sheep.

Emily S. Oakey.

Lesson II
Johnny's First Snowstorm

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

Johnny Reed was a little boy who never
had seen a snowstorm till he was six years old.
Before this, he had lived in a warm country,
where the sun shines down on beautiful
orange groves, and fields always sweet with flowers.

But now he had come to visit his grandmother, who
lived where the snow falls in winter. Johnny was standing at
the window when the snow came down.

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

“O mamma!” he cried, joyfully, “do come quick, and
see these little white birds flying down from heaven.”

“They are not birds, Johnny,” said mamma, smiling.

“Then maybe the little angels are losing their feathers!
Oh! do tell me what it is; is it sugar? Let me taste it,” said
Johnny. But when he tasted it, he gave a little jump — it was
so cold.

“That is only snow, Johnny,” said his mother.

“What is snow, mother?”

“The snowflakes, Johnny, are little drops of water that
fall from the clouds. But the air through which they pass is
so cold it freezes them, and they come down turned into

As she said this, she brought out an old black hat from
the closet. “See, Johnny! I have caught a snowflake on this
hat. Look quick through this glass, and you will see how
beautiful it is.”

Johnny looked through the glass. There lay the pure,
feathery snowflake like a lovely little star.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star!” he cried in delight. “Oh!
please show me more snow-flakes, mother.”

So his mother caught several more, and they were all

The next day Johnny had a fine play in the snow, and
when he came in, he said, “I love snow; and I think
snowballs are a great deal prettier than oranges.”

Lesson III
Let it Rain

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

Rose. See how it rains! Oh dear, dear, dear! how dull it is!
Must I stay in doors all day?

Father. Why, Rose, are you sorry that you had any bread
and butter for breakfast, this morning?

Rose. Why, father, what a question! I should be sorry,
indeed, if I could not get any.

Father. Are you sorry, my daughter, when you see the flowers and the
trees growing in the garden?

Rose. Sorry? No, indeed. Just now, I wished very much
to go out and see them, — they look so pretty.

Father. Well, are you sorry when you see the horses,
cows, or sheep drinking at the brook to quench their thirst?

Rose. Why, father, you must think I am a cruel girl, to
wish that the poor horses that work so hard, the
beautiful cows that give so much nice milk, and the pretty lambs should always
be thirsty.

Father. Do you not think they would die, if they had no
water to drink?

Rose. Yes, sir, I am sure they would. How shocking to
think of such a thing!

Father. I thought little Rose was sorry it rained. Do you
think the trees and flowers would grow, if they never had
any water on them?

Rose. No, indeed, father, they would be dried up by the
sun. Then we should not have any pretty flowers to look at,
and to make wreaths of for mother.

Father. I thought you were sorry it rained. Rose, what is
our bread made of?

Rose. It is made of flour, and the flour is made from
wheat, which is ground in the mill.

Father. Yes, Rose, and it was rain that helped to make the
wheat grow, and it was water that turned the mill to grind the
wheat. I thought little Rose was sorry it rained.

Rose. I did not think of all these things, father. I am truly
very glad to see the rain falling.

Lesson IV

Mcguffeys Third Eclectic Reader

“O pussy!” cried Herbert, in a voice of anger and
dismay, as the blockhouse he was building fell in sudden
ruin. The playful cat had rubbed against his mimic castle,
and tower and wall went rattling down upon the floor.

Herbert took up one of the blocks and threw it fiercely
at pussy. Happily, it passed over her and did no harm. His
hand was reaching for another block, when his little sister
Hetty sprang toward the cat, and caught her up.

“No, no, no!” said she, “you sha'n't hurt pussy!
She did n't mean to do it!”

Herbert’s passion was over quickly, and, sitting down
upon the floor, he covered his face with his hands, and began
to cry.

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