Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]




[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twenty ninth day of December A. D. 1829, in the fifty fourth year of the Independence of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Samuel Willard, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:

Rhetoric or the Principles of Elocution, and Rhetorical Composition. By Samuel Willard, D. D. A. A. S.

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 an act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an 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.' JNO. W.DAVIS, Clerk of the District

of Massachusetts.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

The following treatise on Elocution, as well as that on Composition, was written, transcribed, and prepared for the press before the month of June, 1821. The delay of publication has arisen solely from the fear, that the public mind was not yet sufficiently engaged in the subject, to indemnify the author or publisher for the inevitable expense. It is now published with few and slight emendations and additions, which, so far as they are borrowed from other books, are all quoted and acknowledged in their proper places. This simple fact is stated, lest the peculiar coincidences between the system here presented, and that of Rev. Dr. Porter's “ Analysis of Rhetorical Delivery,” should excite in the reader a suspicion, that one author has borrowed too freely from the other.

The Analysis of Dr. Porter is a work of preeminent merit, on a subject deserving of far greater attention, than it has ever yet received. To me it seems more correct, more practical, and more thorough, than any book before extant, which has ever fallen within the compass of my inquiries. With this concession it may be asked, why I am not content with such a book ? why publish another? To this inquiry, several answers nay be given.

1. The Analysis is too large, and, of course, too dear a book to be so generally used, as the public good requires.

2. It was designed particularly for preachers and other professional men, and consequently it contains many things, which are not applicable to coinmon life.

3. While the Analysis contains many excellences, which I can hardly expect to equal, it is in some few things, I conceive, incorrect, and in several others capable of material improvement, either in practical principles, or philosophical deductions, particularly on the subjects of Emphasis and Intonation.

If there be any merit in the treatise on COMPOSITION, any preeminence above other books on the same subject, and especially the abridgment of Dr. Blair, it is chiefly that of brevity and adaptation to general use. The abridgment of Dr. Blair contains many things, which belong no more to Rhetoric, than they do to other fine arts. And inany other things, which, though they may be improving to professional men, or students in a college, it is very absurd to make the subjects of catechetical exercises for

the pupils of academies, or mere English schools. Both the following Essays are particularly designed for those, who would be thoroughly prepared for teaching common schools. At the same time it is hoped they will deserve in some measure the attention of all, who would adorn the learned or the polite circle, the parlor, the pulpit, or the bar.

It is not an easy thing to reduce the principles of any art to a perfect system, and the author is not so vain as to suppose, that the analysis of elocution here presented to the public is free from inaccuracies and defects. In some parts of that analysis he has sought in vain for any immediate assistance from any author, that has come to his · knowledge.

A considerable part of the examples and prases in the several parts of the work are taken from the Holy Scriptures. If any apology for this te required, it is contained in the following reasons :

1. That pertinent examples from the scriptures were in general most familiar to the author :

2. That they seemed to comport best with the gravity of his profession :

3. That the reader could be more easily referred to the Bible than to almost any other book : and

4. That the Bible contains a richer variety of rhetor.

« PreviousContinue »