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The principles of knowledge become most intelligible to young persons, when they are explained and inculcated by practical illustration and direction. This mode of teaching is attended with so many advantages, that it can scarcely be too much recommended, or pursued. Instruction which is enlivened by pertinent examples, and in which the pupi: is exercised in reducing the rules prescribed to practice, has a more striking effect on the mind, and is better adapted to fix the attention, and sharpen the understanding, than that which is divested of these aids, and confined to bare positions and precepts; in which it too frequently happens, that the learner has no further concern, than to read and repeat them. The time and care employed in practical application, give occasion to survey the subject ninutely, and in different points of view; by which it becomes more known and familiar, and produces stronger and more durable impressions.
These observations are peculiarly applicable to the study of grammar, and the method of teaching it. The rules require frequent explanation ; and, besides direct elucidation, they admit of examples erroneously constructed, for exercising the student's sagacity and judgment. To rectify these, attention and reflection are requisite; and the knowledge of the rule necessarily results from the study and correction of the sentence. But these are not all the advantages which arise from Grammatical Exercises. By discovering their own abilities to detect and amenil errors, and their consequent improvement, tre
scholars become pleased with their studies, and are; animated to proceed, and surmount the obstacles which occur in their progress.
The instructer too is relieved and encouraged in his labours. By discerning exactly the powers and improvement of his pupils, he perceives the proper season for advancing them; and by observing the points in which they are deficient, he knows precisely where to apply his directions and explanations.
These considerations have induced the Compiler to collect and arrange a variety of erroneous examples, adapted to the different rules and instructions of Eügish Grammar, and to the principles of perspicuous and accurate writing. It has not indeed been usual, to make Grammatical Exercises, in our language, very numerous and extensive; but if the importance and usefulness of them be as great as they are conceived to be, no apology will be necessary for the large field of employment, which the following work presents to the student of English Grammar. If he be detained longer than is common in this part of his studies, the probable result of it, an accurate an intimate knowledge of the subject, will constitute an ample recompense.
The reader will perceive that some of the rules and observations, under the part of Syntax, contain a much greater number of examples than others. This has arisen from the superior importance of those rules, and from the variety requisite to illustrate them properly. When a few instances afford sufficient practice on the rule, the student is not fatigued with a repetition of examples, which would cast no new light on the subject.
In selecting the instances of false construction, the Compiler has studied to avoid those that are glaringly erroneous, and to fix upon such only as frequently occur in writing or speaking. If there be any of a different complexion, it is presumed that
they are but few, and that they will be found under those rules only, which, from the nature of them, could not have been otherwise clearly exemplified to young persons. The examples applicable to the principal notes and observations, are carefully ar. ranged under the respective rules of Syntax ; and regularly numbered to make them correspond to the subordinate rules in the Grammar.
As many of the examples contain several errors in the same sentence, and some of them admit of various constructions in amending them, it has been thought proper to publish a Key for ascertaining all the corrections ; and this has been the more expedient from the work's being designed for the benefit of private learners, as well as for the use of schools. The Key to the part of Orthography might have been omitted had not some of the sentences contained so many words erroneously spelled, as to render it probable that several of them would, in that case, have been inadvertently passed over : especially by persons who may not have the advantage of a tutor. In forming the Key, it appeared to be more eligible, to repeat the sentences at large, with their corrections, than simply to exhibit the amendments by themselves. In the mode adopted, the work has a more regular and uniform appearance; the correspondent parts may be more readily compared; and the propriety of the corrections will be more apparent and striking.
In a work which consists entirely of examples, and with which the learners will, consequently, be much occupied and impressed, the Compiler would have deemed himself culpable, had he exhibited such sentences as contained ideas inapplicable to young minds, or which were of a trivial or injurious nature. He has, therefore, been solicitous to avoid all exceptionable matter : and to improve his work, by blending moral and useful observations with
Grammatical studies. Even sentiments of a pious and religious nature, have not been thought improper to be occasionally inserted in these Exercises. The understanding and sensibility of young persons, are much underrated by those who think them incapable of comprehending and relishing this kind of instruction.
The sense nd love of goodness are early and deeply implanted in the human mind.; and often, by their infant energies, surprise the intelligent observer:-why, then, should not these emotions find their proper support and incentives, among the elements of learning? Congenial sentiments, thus disposed, besides making permanent impressions, may serve to cherish and expand those generous principles; or, at least, to prepare them for regular operation, at a future period. The importance of exhibiting to the youthful mind, the deformities of vice; and of giving it just and animating
: views of piety and virtue, makes it not only warrantable, but our duty also, to embrace every proper occasion to promote, in any degree, these valuable ends.
In presenting the learner with so great a number of examples, it was difficult to preserve them from too much uniformity. The Compiler has, however, been studious to give them an arrangement and diversity, as agreeable as the nature of the subject would admit; and to render them interesting, as well as intelligible and instructive, to young persons.
Holdgate, near York, 1797..
TO THE SEVENTH EDITION.*
The Author of this. volume of Exercises, perceiving that it has been well received by the public, and that the demand for it still continues to increase, has felt it incumbent upon him to give the seventh edition every improvement in his power, without enhancing the price of the book.
Besides expunging some obscure and unintereste ing sentences ; inserting a number of examples adapted to the latest improvements in the grammar; and adding to the Syntax, many useful exercises ; he has subjoined to the part designed to promote perspicuous and accurate writing, a whole chapter (twelve pages) of promiscuous exercises, peculiarly adapted to this subject. As every other general division of the book was provided with a chapter of this nature, it is presumed that teachers and private students will approve of an addition so necessary to complete the plan of the work. It is calculated, at once, to confirm the learner in perspicuous and accurate writing, and to improve his taste for elegant composition
In all the additional exercises to this part of the book, the author has been careful to exhibit no in accuracies but such as are frequently found in respectable writings. The display of vulgar and glaring errors, which no persons of education ever commit, would not be proper for a work of this nature, and could not fail to produce disapprobation and disgust.
• The improvements made in the eighth edit!011, consist, chiefly. of “General Directions for using the Exerciles," and of a new, ena. larged system of Exercises in Parfing