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youth not have any prospect of being called on to speak in public, he should endeavour to acquire a correct enunciation and a capability of reading with elegance and taste the works of our poets, from the gratification that he himself may receive, and the pleasure he will be enabled to give his friends.
From Elocution forming so necessary a branch of the education of youth, various compilations from the works of our best writers have at different times been made, by men of distinguished talent, for the purpose of supplying the student with Elocutionary exercises; some of which comprise the choicest extracts from the Poets of the past age, and have long enjoyed the patronage of our public and private seminaries. With this admission, it may be justly inquired what occasion there is for another work on the same subject.
The main object of the present compilation is not to supersede the old Speakers, but to form as it were an appendix to them, and thus supply a desideratum long experienced by teachers in general. The Poetical selections in the old Speakers suitable for Recitation and Reading are generally very far from numerous, and, however excellent in themselves, have been long so hackneyed, and are so familiar to every school-boy that there is no stimulus for exertion nor room for exercise of judgment in their delivery.
The RHETORICAL SPEAKER will be found t contain a most copious and choice collection of Poetry
principally extracted from the works of the most esteemed authors of the present century, and particularly suitable for Recitation and Reading. Few of these pieces have ever appeared in any similar publication, and they are accompanied by some which are original. To those which more immediately rank under the head of Impassioned Pieces, as well as to those of a Comic character, are appended directions for their delivery; which, it is hoped, may render at least a trifling assistance to the scholar. To afford him some exercise in the figures of Rhetoric, the names of such as are exemplified in the various Impassioned pieces, are placed at the head of each, which it is believed has the advantage of novelty.
The character of Poetry and the Laws of Versification, are, it is presumed, treated in such a way as to be thoroughly intelligible to the juvenile mind; and the principal Figures of Rhetoric are exemplified by extracts which have been selected, not only for their appropriateness, but their beauty.
Under the head of Elocution, directions are given for the modulation of the voice and the expression of the passions, in as concise a manner as the nature of the subject will admit; the writer being convinced from long experience, that conciseness is particularly desirable in conveying instruction to youth.
The observations on the Structure of Language present, at least, an interesting though a superficial