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Lessons in Reading and Speaking.
IMPROVE THE MINDS AND REFINE THE
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
RULES IN ELOCUTION,
DIRECTIONS FOR EXPRESSING THE PRINCIPAL PASSIONS
BY NOAH WEBSTER, Esq.
A New Edition.
From Sidney's Press, New-Haven for
1. BEERS & Co. AND I. COOKE & Co.
ASADVERTISEMENT TO THE REVISED EDITION,
THE American Selection, tho' well received and much used in schools,has been thought susceptible of improvement; the compiler has therefore made some alterations, omitting sóme pieces which are believed to be less adapted to interest young minds, and substituting others, which cannot fail to be as entertaining as useful. The present editition comprehends a great variety of sentiment, morality, history, elocution, anecdote and description; and it is believed, will be found to contain as much interesting matter, as any compilation of the size and price.
NEW-HAVEN Sept. 1804.
Diftria of Connecticut, fs.
BE it remembered that on the thirtienth day of January in the twentyeighth year of the Independence of the United States of America, NOAH WEBSTER Jun, of said District Esq. hath depofited in this office the title of a book the right whereof be claims as author, in the words following, viz. "An American Selection of Leffons in Reading and Speaking, calculated to improve the minds and refine the taste of youth-To which are prefixed Rules in Elocution and directions for expressing the principal paffions of the mindBy NOAH WEBSTER Jun. Author of Differtations on the Englife Lan guage, Collection of Effays and Fugitive Writings, the Prompter, c." In conformity to the act of the Congrefs of the United States, entitled an act for the encouragement of learning by fecuring the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of fuch copies, during the times therein mentioned. Charles Denifon, Clerk of the Diftria of Connecticut.
District Clerk's Office. Jan, 30, 1804.
CHARLES DENISON, Clark,
RULES FOR READING AND SPEAKING.
Let your articulation be clear and distinct.
A GOOD articulation consists in giving every letter and syllable its proper pronunciation of sound.
Let each fyllable, and the letters which compofe it, be pronounced with a clear voice, without whining, drawling, lifping, ftammering, mumbling in the throat, or speaking through the nofe. Avaid equally a dull drawling habit, and too much rapidity of pronunciation for each of these faults destroys a diftin&t articulation.
Obferve the Stops, and mark the proper Pauses; but make no paufe where the fenfe requires none.
The characters we ufe as ftops are extremely arbitrary, and do not always mark a fufpenfion of the voice. On the contrary, they are often employed to feparate thé feveral members of a period, and fhow the grammatical conftruction. Nor when they are defigned to mark paufes, do they always determin the length of thofe paufes, for this depends much on the fenfe and the nature of the fubject. A femicolon, for example, requires a longer paufe in a grave discourse, than in lively and fpirited declamation. However as children are incapable of nice distinctions, it may be beft to adopt, at first, some general rule with refpect to the paufes, and teach them to pay the fame attention to these characters as they do to the words. They should be cautioued likewife against paufing in the midst of a member of a fentennce, where the fenfe requires the words to be clofely connected in pronunciation
Pay the fricteft attention to Accent, Emphafis, and Cadence. 'Let the accented fyllables be pronounced with a proper stress of voice; the unaccented, with little stress of voice, but difinctly.
* See my American Spelling book, in which the pauses of the comena, femicolon, colon, and period, are fixed at one, two, four, fix.