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MURRAY'S ENGLISH GRAMMAR
CALCULATED TO ENABLE PRIVATE LEARNERS
TO BECOME THEIR OWN INSTRUCTERS,
IN GRAMMAR AND COMPOSITION.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE EXERCISES
STEREOTYPED FROM THE LAST ENGLISH EDITION,
BY B. & J. COLLINS, NEW-YORK.
No. 14, NORTH FOURTH ST.
BY THE AMERICAN PUBLISHERS.
AS ti.e correspondents of LINDLEY MURRAY, and publishers of his various works, Collins & Co. think it necessary to apprise the public, that several editions
of the Grammar have been printed in different parts of the United States, with alterations of the original text, for which copy-rights have been claimed by the parties concerned, to secure to themselves an emolument arising from an exclusive sale. One edition of the Abridged Grammar, has been published by a teacher, at Boston, shortened, because it was conceiv. ed by him to have been before too long. Another has been published by a teacher at Philiadelphia, somewhat enlarged, because he considered it before too short. A third has been published at Worcester, by a teacher, who, thinking it to be neither too short nor too long long, has introduced a “ New System of Punctuation" only. A fourth has been published at Hartford, also enlarged, but with totally different motives from the edition of Philadelphia. It also dissents from that printed at Worcester, even specifying in . title page, that it contains " Murray's Treatise on Punctuation at large." Although altered with such contradictory views, each claims a preference, each claims a copy-right, and each claims a profit. The publisher of one of the altered editions (that at Philadelphia) announces, that “the manifest superiority of his, over every other American edition of Murray's Abridgment, must ensure to it a decided preference wherever it can be obtained.” !!
It will amuse many to be made acquainted with the ingenious expedients used by some of the authors of these mutilated edi. tions, to give them importance. The editor of the Philadelphia edition, though perhaps the least valuable of the whole, in recommendation of his performance, addresses the public thus :
“ The very rapid sale of the former edition of this book, and its extensive circulation throughout the continent, now induce me to publish a second.”
This “ former edition," it is necessary to remark, consisted of one thousand copies, which, aided by a series of newspaper adver tisements, were pushed off in eighteen months, that period hav. ing elapsed between the appearance of the first and the second edition. Of the REAL Murray's Abridgment, or that made by LINDLEY MURRAY himself, there have been sold, during the same period, in the cities of New-York and Philadelphia alone, not less than twenty thousand. The present advertisers have themselves publised ten thousand, and it is not pretended thał Their editions have been circulated 6 THROUGHOUT THE CON TINENT.” Not a copy has probably ever reached Cape Horn Baffin's Bay, nor Nootka Sound, “ throughout” all which places, it would seem that the production of the singular Grammarian of Philadelphia has had an “extensive circulation.” !!
The same editor, with singular acuteness, urges his superiority over LINDLEY MURRAY, because, forsooth! he (the editor) is an "experienced teacher.” Murray, be avers, “ cannot be so
well acquainted," &c. &c. It does not appear to have occurred to him that three equally, or perhaps more "experienced teachers," ** as we have had occasion to see, totally differ from him, have altered the work for reasons directly opposite, have all had perhaps quite as much of the support and " recommendations” of particular friends, and have all, no doubt, thought themselves entitled to receive as large a pecuniary compensation for their “ improve ments."!!!
Ille sinistrorsum, hic dextrorsum, unus utrique
ERROR, sed variis illudit partibus omnes. HOR. In justice, however, to some of the friends of the editor of the Philadelphia edition, who gave him written recommendations of it for the newspapers, it should be mentioned, that they have since bonourably laid that book aside, and adopted the genuine grammar of Murray.
In consequence of the merit of the Grammar, as it came, in purity, from the pen of the author, about fifty thousand copies of the Abridg. ment, and thirty-five thousand of the Large Grammar, are sold an. nually. The former, in the short period of eleven years, has passed through twenty-one editions in England, and perhaps twice that number in America. The latter, twenty editions in England, and about thirty in America. Murray's Grammar is adopted in nearly all the Colleges and other Seminaries of education, in both countries, as the STANDARD. Every English Critic and Reviewer, who has mentioned it, has represented it as the best extant. The celebrated Dr. BLAIR, and WALKER, the Lexicographer, (a very perienced teacher”) are among those who have the most warmly recommended it. - Is it a light matter for Amercan teachers to alter such a work?
Indeed the fact should not, in this place, be withheld from the public, that the whole of the above mutilated editions have been seen and examined by LINDLEY MURRAY himself, and that they have met with his decided disapprobation. Every rational mind will agree with him, that “ the rights of living authors, and the interest of Science and Literature, demand the abolition of this ungenerous practice;" for surely it is not a small evil that an elementary work which has met with universal appro. bation, passed through twenty-eight editions, been adopted as the standard in our Colleges, which has cost the author years of reflec tion to bring into system and order, and to make correct and har monious in all parts, should be deranged, mutilated and distorted by the crude and hasty variations and additions of an interested editor
As some of the editors above alluded to, have endeavoured to justify themselves by asserting that even LINDLEY MURRAY ap. proved of their different alterations, and have heaped on the advertisers much abuse for exposing their contradictions, &c. there shall be adduced at this time an extract of a letter from Lindley Murray, which will perhaps induce them to be more cautious in charging C & Co. with “ vindictive calumny” in future.
“ I am much indebted to Collins & Co. for the neat and correct manner in which they reprint my publications; and for their care and exertions to exhibit the books as THEY WERE PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, and espicially with his latest improvements. I shal!