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examples selected, as it is thought, cannot fail to show how much beauty and force may be given to reading by a proper expression, adapted to the sentiment of the language which is read.
The correct reading of poetry is so important an attainment-indeed, so elegant an accomplishment, and so frequently neglected, or, if attended to, so imperfectly understood that the author has made it a subject of special attention, and entered briefly into its metrical structure. By a little study, the learner may become familiar with the most common forms of English verse, and by a little exercise in scanning it, be able to appreciate all the beauties of harmonic compositions.
In order to make a more general application of the rules, the second part is composed of selections embracing a great variety of style, from the simple, unimpassioned narrative, to that of the most dignified and sublime. These selections offer choice exercises for almost every kind of modulation; and frequent reference is also made from them, to the rules in the first part, by which the most essential elocutionary principles are drawn out, and impressed on the mind.
Another object, in presenting this work, has been a desire to improve the literary taste of the learner, to impress correct moral principles, and augment his fund of knowledge. The selections have been made from the best writers in the langu ge, and are distinguished for elegance of diction and classical style. Every expression which would have a tendency to vitiate the taste, has been rejected.
It is believed, also, that the moral sentiment of the pieces is of the highest order. The English Reader, a book preeminent for purity of style and sentiment, has, in this respect, been imitated.
Care has been taken to explain by notes, at the bottom of the page, all difficult terms, historical and classical allusions, and proper names. It is presumed that many advantages will be derived from these, both on account of the historical information they contain, and as affording a better understanding of what is read. Indeed, it is in vain to think of reading any piece well, without an understanding of the subject. S. TOWN.
NOTE TO TEACHERS. As to the manner of using this work, every teacher will of course exercise his own judgment. The author, however, would suggest, that the class, on taking it up, commence with part first, and carefully study the definition and rules of each chapter, with the examples under them; at the same time, further illustrating each rule separately, by the general exercises following the chapter in which the rule is found.
134. Extract from President Jefferson's Inaugural Address,