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Entered a corHng to Act of Congress, in the year 1861, by John O. SARGENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of New York.
HOBART & ROBBINS,
Cambridge: Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co.
“Reader,” properly so called, it is obvious that such exercises are most appropriate as are best for the one purpose of elocutionary practice. Regard should be had to this requirement rather than to the scientific or encyclopedical character of the lessons. The author has been influenced by these views in the preparation of the present work. It will be found to represent quite a variety of styles. The greater number of the pieces have never before had a place in any similar collection ; but some will be recognized that are familiar to every cultivated taste.
It is difficult to see why, in commending to the young of our day a literary standard, we should offer them one lower than that their fathers looked up to. Indeed, our best teachers of elocution generally prefer, for drilling exercises, those they are already acquainted with ; such pieces as, from their marked power and superiority, can never become hackneyed. The book that is largely made up of these can not be justly set aside under the plea that
pupils have exhausted it; for those who can give proper effect to such pieces, in the delivery, will have little more to learn in the way of elocution. Let the young have the privilege, at the impressible period of their lives, of being made familiar with the best, whether old or new, since, in the words of Webster, “ truth in taste is allied with truth in morality.”
In this volume, to aid in the understanding of every reading exercise, the most difficult words in it have been selected for spelling and defining lessons; particular care being taken to keep the teacher on the alert against faults in pronunciation. The exercises in Part I., on the vowel and consonant sounds, ought to be practiced from time to time by the class. The subject of rhetorical delivery is treated in the Special Exercises in the body of the work.
The author submits his new Fourth Reader, in the belief that in practice it will be found easy and attractive by the young ; containing a good proportion of stirring and spirited pieces, at the same time that the examples for colloquial and unimpassioned delivery are numerous and appropriate.