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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
A. H. ENGLISH & CO.
in the Clerk's Offiee of the District Court of the United States for the Western
District of Pennsylvania.
THE principles of elocution which are found in the first part of this book embrace nearly all that has been said on the subject of elocutionary training in the preceding volumes of this series, with such additions as are deemed necessary in a work of this character. With a few exceptions, the rules and definitions for emphasis, inflection, &c., which have been used in the previous Readers, are here presented without any change in their phraseology. By thus expressing the same rule or definition in the same language wherever it occurs, an advantage will be secured when the books are used in connection; for the pupil, having learned a principle in one book, will not be obliged to bestow additional labor upon the same principle when he finds it in another.
The best authorities have been consulted in the compilation of this brief treatise on elocution; and, although it does not comprise every thing that could be written upon the subject, yet it is believed to include all that can be successfully taught in the highest classes of public and private schools. If the principles which it contains are completely mastered and intelligently applied throughout the remainder of the book, they will contribute much to the attainment of a correct and graceful delivery.
The reading-lessons in the second part have been selected from the writings of
best English and
American authors. They exhibit specimens of almost every kind of composition suited to improve the pupil in the higher departments of elocution. Many of these lessons are marked to illustrate the rules for emphasis and inflection, and to aid the pupil in practicing upon pitch, force, and rate. It will be seen that dramatic and declamatory pieces have been pretty freely introduced into this part of the book. To these selections the experienced teacher of elocution will not object; for there is nothing that more effectually tends to produce confidence, force, and efficiency in reading than exercises in earnest declamation and dramatic expression.
In making the selections for this Reader, an effort has been made to obtain new pieces; and accordingly many extracts have been taken from the literary productions of the present times; but good pieces have not been excluded because they are old. The masterpieces of English literature never grow old; and without them a book of this kind would not be considered complete.