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Designed to assist young persons to read with propriety and effect;
With a few preliminary observations on the
PRINCIPLES OF GOOD READING.
BY LINDLEY MURRAY,
RAVERHILL, X. 8.
ANY selections of excellent matter have been made for noe benefit of young persons. Performances of this kind are of so great afility, that fresh productions of them, and new attempts to improve the young mind, will scarcely be deemed superfluous, if the writer makes his compilation instructive and interesting, and suficiently distinct from others.
The present work, as the title expresses, aims at the attainment of three objects : To improve youth in the art of reading-to meliorate their language and sentiments—and to inculcate some of the most important principles of piety and virtue.
The pieces selected, not only give exercise to a great variety of emotions, and the correspondent lones 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 pro. priety and effect. A selection of sentences, in wbich variety and proportion, with exact punctuation, have been carefully observed, in all iheir parts as well as with respect to one another, will probably have a much greater effect, in properly teaching the art of reading, than is commonly imagined. In such constructions, erery, thing is accommodated :o 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 justice and facility, he will readily apply that habit, and the improvements 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 pany instances, elegance 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 eccentric.The frequent perosal of such composition, naturally tends to infuse a laste for this species of excellence ; and to produce a habit of thinking, and of composing, with judgment and accuracy.*
*The learner, in his progress through this volume and the Sequel to it, will meet with numerous instances of composition, in strict conformity to the rules for promoting perspicuous and elegant writing, contained in the Appendix to the author's English gramatur. By oc
That this collection may also serve the purpose of promoting piety and virtue, the Compiler has introduced many extracts, which place religion in the most amiable light; and which recommend a great variety of moral duties, by the excellence of their nature, and the happy effects they produce. These subjects are exhibited in a style and mapper, which are calculated to arrest the attention of youth and to make strong and churable impressions on their minds.*
The Corupiler has been careful to avoid every expression and sentiment, that might gratify a corrupt mind, or in the least degree, ofsend the eye or ear of innocence. This he conceives to be peculiarly incumbent on every person who writes for the benefit of youth. It wouid, indeed, be a great and happy improvement in education, if no writings were allowed to come under their notice, but such as are perfectly innocent ; and if, on all proper occasions, they were encouraged to perase those which tend to inspire a due reverence for virtue, and an abhorrence of vice, as well as to animate them with seutiniunts of piety and goodness. Such impressions deeply engra. ven on their minds, and connected with all their attainments, could scarcely fail of attending them through life ; and of producing a 80lidity of principle and character, that would be able to resist the danger arising from future intercourse with the world.
The author bas endeavored to relieve the grave and serious parta of his collection, by the occasional admission of pieces which amuse as well as instruct. lf, however, any of his readers should think it contains too great a proportion of the former, it may be some apology to observe, that in the existing publications designed for the perusal of young persons, the preponderance is greatly or the side of gay and amusing productions. Too much attention may be paid to this medium of improvement. When the imagination, of youth especially, is much entertained, the sober dictates of the understanding are re. garded with indifference and the influence of good affections, is either feeble or transient. A temperate use of such entertainment seems therefore requisite, to afford proper scope for the operations of the understanding and the heart.
The reader will perceive, that the Compiler has been solicilous to recommend to young persons, the perusal of the sacred scriptures, by interspersiog through his work, some of the most beautiful and interesting passages of those invaluable writings. To excite an early taste
casionally 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, be. sides teaching to read accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered as anxiliaries to the author's English Grammarmas actical illustrations of the principles and rules contained in that work
*In some of the pieces, the Compiler has made a few alterations, chiefly verbal, to adapt them the better to the design of his work.
and reneration for this great rule of life, is a point of so high importance, as to warrant the attempt to promote it on every proper occasion.
To improve the young mind, and to afford sone assistance to tutors, in the areluous and important work of education, were the mo. tives which led to this production. If the author should be so successful as to accomplish these ends, even in a small degree, he will think that his time aud pairs have been well employed, and will deep khaiseTi amply rewarded: