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PIECES IN PROSE AND VERSE,
SELECTED FROM THE BEST WRITERS.
DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOUNG PERSONS TO READ WITH ROPRIETY
BY LINDLEY MURRAY,
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED,
The Definitions of Inflections & Emphasis,
RULES FOR READING VERSE,
EXHIBITING THE METHOD OF APPLYING THOSE PRINCIPLES TO THE
BY M. R. BARTLETT,
Stereotyped by H. & E. Phinney, Cooperstown.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM WILLIAMS
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW-YORK-TO WIT:
the twelfth of
B December, in the forty-seventh year of the Indepen
dence of the United States of America, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and twenty two, M. R. BARTLETT, of said District, has deposited in this office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit: "The English Reader, or Pieces in Prose and Verse; selected from the best writers: designed to assist young persons to read with propriety and effect; to improve their language and sentiments, and to inculcate some of the most important principles of Piety and Virtue, by Lindley Murray, author of an English Grammar, &c. To which are prefixed, the definitions of Inflections and Emphases, and rules for reading Verse, with a Key, exhibiting the method of applying these principles to the pronunciation of written language. The Inflections as well as Emphases are also actually applied, by sensible characters and agreeably to the directions contained in the Key, to the whole of Mr. Murray's selections. By M. R. Bartlett, author of The Practical Reader:"-In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned," and also to the act entitled "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching historical and other prints."
RICH'D R. LANSING,
selections of excellent matter have been made for the
benefit of young persons. Performances of this kind are of so great utility, that fresh productions of them, and new attempts to improve the young mind, will scarcely be deemed superfluous, if the writer make his compilation instructive and interesting, and sufficiently distinct from others.
The present work, as the title expresses, aims at the attainment of three objects: to improve youth in the art of reading; to meliorate their language and sentiments; and to inculcate some of the most important principles of piety and virtue.
The pieces selected, not only give exercise to a great variety of emotions, and the correspondent tones and variations of voice, but contain sentences and members of sentences, which are diversified, proportioned, and pointed with accuracy. Exercises of this nature are, it is presumed, well calculated to teach youth to read with propriety and effect. A selection of sentences, in which variety and proportion, with exact punctuation, have been carefully observes, in all their parts as well as with respect to one another, will probably have a much greater effect, in properly teaching the art of reading, than is commonly imagined. In such constructions, every thing is accommodated to the understanding and the voice; and the common ifficulties in learning to read well are obviated. When the learner has acquired a habit of reading such sentences, with justness and facility, he will readily apply that habit, and the improvements he has made, to sentences more complicated and irregular, and of a construction entirely different.
The language of the pieces chosen for this collection has been carefully regarded. Purity, propriety, perspicuity, and, in many instances, elegance of diction, distinguish them. They are extracted from the works of the most correct and elegant writers. From the sources whence the sentiments are drawn, the reader may expect to find them connected and regular, sufficiently important and impressive, and divested of every thing that is either trite or eccentric. The frequent perusal of such composition naturally tends to infuse a taste for this species of excellence; and to produce a habit of thinking, and of composing, with judgment and accuracy.*
That this collection may also serve the purpose of promoting piety and virtue, the Compiler has introduced many extracts, which
* The learner, in his progress through this volume and the Sequel to it, will meet with numerous instances of composition, in strict conformity to the rules for promoting perspicuous and elegant writing contained in the Appendix to the Author's English Grammar. By occasionally examining this conformity, he will be confirmed in the utility of those rules; and be enabled to apply them with ease and dexterity.
It is proper further to observe, that the Reader and the Sequel, besides teaching to read accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered as auxiliaries to the Author's English Grammar; as practical illustra tions of the principles and rules contained in that work.
place religion in the most amiable light; and which recommend a great variety of moral duties, by the excellence of their nature, and the happy effects they produce. These subjects are exhibited in a style and manner which are calculated to arrest the attention of youth; and to make strong and durable impressions on their minds.*
The Compiler has been careful to avoid every expression and ser.timent, that might gratify a corrupt mind, or, in the least degree, offend the eye or ear of innocence. This he conceives to be peculiarly incumbent on every person who writes for the benefit of youth. It would indeed be a great and happy improvement in education, if no writings were allowed to come under their notice, but such as are perfectly innocent; and if on all proper occasions, they were encouraged to peruse those which tend to inspire a due reverence for virtue, and an abhorrence of vice, as well as to animate them with sentiments of piety and goodness. Such impressions deeply engraven on their minds, and connected with all their attainments, could scarcely fail of attending them through life, and of producing a solidity of principle and character, that would be able to resist the danger arising from future intercourse with the world.
The Author has endeavoured to relieve the grave and serious parts of his collection, by the occasional admission of pieces which amuse as well as instruct. If, however, any of his readers should think it contains too great a proportion of the former, it may be some apology to observe, that in the existing publications designed for the perusal of young persons, the preponderance is greatly on the side of gay and amusing productions. Too much attention may be paid to this medium of improvement. When the imagination, of youth especially, is much entertained, the sober dictates of the understanding are regarded with indifference; and the influence of good affections is either feeble, or transient. A temperate use of such entertainment seems therefore requisite, to afford proper scope for the operations of the understanding and the heart.
The reader will perceive, that the Compiler has been solicitous to recommend to young persons, the perusal of the sacred Scriptures, by interspersing through his work some of the most beautiful and interesting passages of those invaluable writings. To excite an early taste and veneration for this great rule of life, is a point of so high importance, as to warrant the attempt to promote it on every proper occasion.
To improve the young mind, and to afford some assistance to tutors, in the arduous and important work of education, were the motives which led to this production. If the Author should be so successful as to accomplish these ends, even in a small degree, he will think that his time and pains have been well employed, and will deem himself amply rewarded,
* In some of the pieces, the Compiler has made a few alterations, chiefly verbal, to adapt them the better to the design of his work.
THE author of the application of the Inflections, &c. to the collection of reading lessons in Murray's English Reader, has, with inany others of his profession, borne testimony to the excellency of that work, by making it an almost exclusive reading book in his school for nearly fifteen years. Indeed, public taste has determined the merits of the English Reader, by pronouncing it the best work of the kind now in use. No reading book in the English Language, has a more unlimited circulation, or has done more to advance the art of reading. The writer, however, always supposed the work imperfect; in as much as Mr. Murray's strictures on correct reading are too abstruse and difficult for the generality of pupils; and none of his principles applied to practice; they therefore remained as mere inoperative precepts, without the force of examples. The subscriber has endeavoured to remedy this defect in the work, by applying the acknowledged principles of elocution, by sensible characters, to most of the pieces in the collection; and he has also furnished a Key, for the benefit of the pupil, exhibiting those principles, by rules and examples, and illustrating the manner of applying them to practice. The learner, by consulting this Key, will soon be enabled to extend the principles to general reading;-for this purpose, let him, in the outset, compare his intended lesson with the rules and examples furnished in the Key, and with a pencil, make the requisite characters; this exercise will soon make him master of the principles, and the mode of applying them. These principles will enable him to impart to his reading, the greatest precision, harmony, force and variety, and give a finishing polish to his style of delivery.
The work has now received its utmost perfection, and wears the stamp of its highest excellence. Mr. Murray's selections have been kept entire, and his order of arrangement scrupulously preserved; for in these respects no writer could have been more fortunate. The book is, in short, what it always has been, the English Reader, with the addition of the principles of Elocution, dictating the precise manner of reading its contents. It is therefore humbly but confidently submitted to the favour of a discrimnating public, by that public's devoted servant,
M. R. BARTLETT
Utica, May 1, 1823.