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PIECES IN PROSE AND POETRY,
SELECTED FROM THE BEST WRITERS.
DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOUNG PERSONS TO READ WITH PROPRIETY AND
TO INCULCATE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
PRINCIPLES OF PIETY AND VIRTUE.
WITH A FEW PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS
On the Principles of Good Reading,
BY LINDLEY MURRAY.
STEREOTYPED BY B. AND J. COLLINS, NEW-YORK
CONCORD, N. H.,
MANY selections of excellent matter Lave been made for the benefit of young persons. Performances of this kind are of so great utility, that fresh productions of thein, and new attempts to improve the young mind, will scarcely be deemed superfluous, if the writer make his compilatior. instructive and interesting, and sufficiently distinct from others.
The present work, as the title expresses, aims at the attaininent of three objects: to improve youth in the art of reading; to meliorate their lane guage and sentiments; and to inculcate some of the most important principles of piéty and virtue.
The pieces selected, not only give exercise to a great variety of emotions, and the correspondent tones and variations of voice, but contain sentences and members of sentences, which are diversified, proportioned, and pointed with accuracy. Exercises of this nature are, it is presumed, well calculated to teach youth to read with propriety and efiect. lection of sentences, in which variety and proportion, with cxact punctuation, have oeen carefully observed, in all their parts as well as with respect to one anotber, will probably have a much greuter etiect, in poroperly teaching the art of reading, than is commonly imagined. In such constructions, every thing is accommodated to the understanding and the voice; and the common difficulties in learning to read well are obviated. When the learner has acquired a habit of reading such sentences, with justness and facility, he will readily apply that habit, and the improve. ments he has made, to sentences more complicated and irregular, and of a construction entirely different.
The language of the pieces chosen for this collection has been carefully regarded. Purity, propriety, perspicuity, and, in many instances, ele. gance of diction, distinguish them. They are extracted from the works of the most correct and elegant writers. From the sources whence the sentiments are drawn, the reader may expect to find them connected and regular, sufficiently important and impressive, and divested of every thing that is either trite or cccentric. The frequent perusal of such composition naturally tends to infuse a taste for this species of excellence; and to produce a habit of thinking, and of composing, with judgment and av. curacy.*
* The learner, in his progress through this volume and the Sequel to it, will meet with mumerous instances of composition, in strict couformity to tlie rules for promoting perspi. cuous and elegant writing contained in the Appendix io the Author's English Grammar. By occasionally examining this conformity, he will be confirmed in the utility of those rules, and be enabled to apply them with ease and dexterity.
It is proper further to observe, that the Reader and the Sequel, besides touching to rend accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered as auxiliaries lo the Author's English Grammar; as practical illustrations of the principles and rules colle tained in that work.