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READER AND SPEAKER;
BY SAMUEL PUTNAM.
NEW YORK :
‘ Emnsn. According to Act of Congress. in the year 1836, by SAMUEL PUTNAM, ‘In the‘Clerk’s oflice of the District Court of the Southefn District of NEW You.
STEREO'I'YPED BY FRANCIS F. RIPLEYr
Tas compiler of this volume, having been for several years employed in conducting the education of youth, has found it very difficult to obtain select pieces of composition, suited both to the purposes of declamation, and to the capacities of his pupils. There are, indeed, excellent collections of pieces, designed for declamation, selected from the best orators, ancient and modern; but these are almost exclusively intended for scholars in the higher stages of educa‘ tion; and it is as unreasonable to think of teaching a boy to speak eloquently, by requiring him to commit and rehearse these specimens of elevated oratory, as to think of teaching the child, who has just learned his alphabet, to read accurately, by assigning him a lesson in the “ Paradise Lost.” Would we wish a lad to recite the ideas of another with correctness of tone and inflexion, and with a vivacity and energy of enunciation, indicating an adequate perception of the power of language, it would be requisite for him to have a full apprehension of the import of such composition; otherwise he will be drawn into the exercise of speaking, by a sort of physical compulsion, with the feeling of'one who is obliged to say something, rather than of one who has something to say. It is in this view of the subject, that the compiler has been induced to collect into a body, such specimens of composition as are adapted to the purposes of declamation, and level to the capacities of those for whom they are designed.
In regard to another peculiarity of the work—which its name imports—the compiler would remark, that it has been suggested by frequently observing the peculiar feeling of his pupils, when prompted, in the midst of the“ performance, for some fault too great to be overlooked. The only efl'ectual remedy which he has found for this eviiisy to make use of the piece as a reading lesson ; and while reading, the papil can be prompted at pleasure, till he becomes correct and familiar with all the emphases, tones, pauses, and inflexions, requisite to the full expression of the writer’s sentiments and feelings. This being accomplished, it becomes very easy to commit the piece to memory; a consideration of no trivial importance with some scholars.
He has also had occasion to remark, that, so far from any loss of interest in such pieces, they have, without exception, been read with increased interest, by every member of the class, whenever they