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to mark the particular places where some great malter in elocution has afforded considerable pleasure in the delivery, and endeavour, as nearly as possible, to delineate (the attempt at which has unavoidably given rise to a repetition of identical expressions in fimilar situations, in the mind of the reader, the
METHOD that was so successfully Adopted. I am perfectly aware of the difficulty of the undertaking, and that in some cases I shall fail ; but as I am persuaded that in a greater number I shall succeed to the fullest of my wishes, es. pecially when I am so fortunate as to be read by a person of perspicacity, who will be able to make up in his mind, that deficiency of explanation which the difficulty of some fituations must unavoidably occasion, I feel myself bold in saying, that this little volume will be the means of administering more real improvement to the scholar than any other publication that has appeared on the sub. ject.
Many of the principal poems and extracts which will be found in the following selection, I have heard read or recited either in public or in the hour of social enjoyment, by one or other of the
gentlemen I have here chosen to answer my present purpose. The great pleasure which Mr. Hender
son's exertions created, frequently arose at a time when a strict advocate for accuracy of speaking could have easily pointed out the greatest violation of philological rules, and the entire neglect of that equable length of pauses, which we are taught to consider the fame parts of punctuation require. In doing this, he has, it is true, varied from the studied coolness and phlegmatic composure of correctness, but I never found him infringe upon reason, or lose sight of the effect intended.--On the contrary, he uniformly seemed to poffess so nearly his author's own force, meaning, and spirit, that his delivery appeared, as it were, a kind of enlanation from the same foul,
Mr. Sheridan, possefling a perfect theoretical knowledge of the language, and knowing that he had such a character to support with the public, often felt his exertions curbed by this reflection; which, although he was ever correct, frequently abated the true and animated spirit of a fentence. Mr. Henderson, being freed from such restraint, and having little else but a sound, good understanding, with an exquisitely-refined taste for all the delicate beauties of English poesy, boldly, and without the least restri&tion, gave loose to those powers with which nature had endowed him; and
in his readings and recitals, a thousand of those adventitious graces and ornaments were observable, which captivate the attention, and which foar above those who rise no higher than the humble path of correctness, and are contented to receive no more than the cold approbation of the critic.-Such were the men whose method of reading I have endeavoured to imitate in most of the poems which are introduced in the following sheets. That the scholar may have the way pointed out in which these gentleinen read or recited particular passages, and that he may have an opportunity, as he proceeds with a poem, of knowing in what manner it ought to be read, without being compelled to have recourse to a fys. tem of rules that, when too rigidly adhered to, often add an insufferable apathy to expression, are the principal objects I had in view in publishing
In my occasional observations, I have carefully kept as far from the cold inanimated manner usually adopted by readers in common, as from the theatrical cant frequently practised by most of our public performers, whenever they attempt to read. The medium between the two, in my opinion, was happily preserved both by Sheridan and Henderson ; and I shall endeavour, throughout this work, to impress it on the mind of the scholar, as nearly as words can possibly ef
feet it..Trusting, therefore, in the full conviction that my exertions will be attended with a confiderable portion of success, and that they will be the means of facilitating the labour of those whose object is to improve in the art of reading and speaking, I here cheerfully submit them to the ordeal of public criticism.
Page 150 -Sixth linc, for ten feet, read « five feet ;" and in the
feventh ling road " faur," inftead of of eigkz."
CO N T E N T S.
The Seven Ages of Life
The Mifer and Plutus
The Goose and the Swans