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TO THE REVEREND

WILLIAM VINCENT, D. D.

DEAN OF WESTMINSTER, &c.

SIR,

THEY are motives far less unworthy than ostentation, which have induced me to present this volume to you. The solicitude which you so ably evinced for the improvement of youth, will, I am persuaded, obtain your encouragement toward any work which is likely to accelerate this important object.

Whether this book deserves such a character, it does not become me to determine : byt. the consciousness of having been influenced by the desire of facilitating an elegant and useful accomplishment, has given me confidence to offer this attempt to the public. · If I have been so fortunate as to succeed in my wish of rendering service to literature, I persuade myself that I shall be favored by your approbation; and I may then pride my

self in the reflection of having given testimony, by this dedication, that I am, with every consideration of respect,

SIR,

Your most obedient,

And most humble servant,

J. RIPPINGHAM.

12, Clifford Street,

June 26, 1811.

INTRODUCTION.

THE art of arranging and expressing our ideas is of the utmost utility. Knowledge, how. ever various, and genius, however brilliant, avail but little, if their result cannot be communicated with clearness and facility. Yet observation shews that excellence in this particular is most uncommon. It is by no means unusual to meet young men, respectable in classical acquirement, who are unable to illustråte familiar topics when offered to their attention.

The causes of this deficiency I believe are various ; but they do not demand inquiry here. The defect has been felt and acknowledged, and therefore no probable means should be omitted for its removal.

The art of English composition consists of two distinct branches : one is grammar, which teaches the correct dependency of words : the other is a practical uniou of logic and rhetoric, which teaches order and elegance in the con: ception and arrangement of ideas.

The former of these branches has been so ably treated by the diligence and ingenuity of Mr. Lindley Murray, that further improvement seems to be almost precluded: but having me'itioned Englisin grammar, I cannot omit the opportunity, of endeavouring to correct an opin.

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