« AnteriorContinua »
ginal ones of my own; and he will not, I hope, think that the perufal of it has been time ill-beftowed.
A confiderable part of what I had compofed for the use of my pupils in the first part of this work, which is, in its own nature, more trite than the rest, I have here omitted; retaining only as much as was neceffary to preserve the appearance of an uniform Syftem in the whole, and those parts which were the most original.
The last part of the work, relating to elocution, I never compofed, though I fhould have done it, if I had continued longer in that employment. The reafon of this omiffion was, that it was my cuftom (as I believe it is ftill that of my fucceffors in that department of the academy, and it is certainly a most useful one) to have lectures appropriated folely to the bufinefs of elocution, which all the ftudents who were defigned for public speakers conftantly attended, at least once a week. At these lectures great pains were taken to form the pupils to a habit of just and graceful delivery; and the inftructions were given as occafion required; fo that the redu cing of them to writing was by no means neceffary.
It may be thought by fome, that these lectures are much too short, and too concifely written, for the purpose of public instruction: but they should be apprized, that it was my custom to write down only the outlines of what I delivered in the clafs ; that, for the benefit of my pupils, I used to attend them provided with more copious illuftrations, and a greater variety of examples; and, befides, always fpent a confiderable part of the time appropriated to every lecture in examining them on the subject of the preceding lecture, hearing their remarks or objections, and explaining more diftinctly what they appeared not to have clearly understood.
Upon this plan (which I found by experience to be a very useful one, and which I mention fo particularly here, with a view to recommend it to other tutors) it was not neceffary for me to write out more than a short, though connected text, from which to discourse extempore; a method which engages the attention unfpeakably more than formally reading every thing from notes. It was my custom also to leave a fair copy of what I wrote in the lecture-room, that the pupils might have recourse to it, and study it at their leisure, so as to be better
better prepared for examination at the enfuing lecture. What I now publish is the text above mentioned, with fome improvements which have fince occurred to me.
The fame method I took with refpect to every other subject on which I gave lectures; with this difference, that those on the Theory of Languages and Univerfal Grammar were printed for the use of the pupils. This work I have promised, in the preface to my English Grammar, to revife, and publish at my leisure; and if these should have the good fortune to give fatisfaction, I may, in due time, proceed to publish another Course of Lectures, viz. on the Study of Hiftory and General Policy; which, indeed, I have promised to publish, in the preface to my Essay on the first Principles of Government. The public may be affured, that, as I have not hitherto, I fhall not, in future, obtrude upon them any work, that shall not appear to myself, however mistaken I may be in my judgment, both confiderably original and ufeful.
THE CONTENT S.