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THE

BOOK OF RECITATIONS;

A COLLECTION OF PASSAGES FBOM THE WORKS
OF THE BEST POETS AND DRAMATISTS.

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CHARLES WILLIAM SMITH,

PROFESsOR OF ELOCUTION J AUTHOR OF "HINTS ON ELOCUTION " ETC.

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"A proof of the importance of delivery may be drawn from the additional force which the actors give to what is written by the best poets, so that what we hear pronounced by them gives infinitely more pleasure, than when we only read it. I think I may affirm, that a very indifferent speech, well set off by the speaker, will have a greater effect than the best, if destitute of that advantage."—Quintilian.

LONDON:
Printed by G. Barclay, Castle St. Leicester Sq.

PREFACE.

There is no more agreeable entertainment, or more intellectual accomplishment, than reciting from the best poets and dramatists. It developes the critical powers, as well as the voice and action. Such recitation, as the great Lord Clarendon says, is "the best and most natural way to introduce an assurance and confidence in speaking, with that leisure and tone of pronunciation that is decent and graceful, and in which so few men are excellent, for want of information and care when they are young."

The study also greatly improves the memory: Sir Philip Sidney justly says, "Verse far exceedeth prose in the knitting up of the memory. Who is it that ever was a scholar that does not carry away some verses which in his youth he learned, and even to old age serve him for hourly lessons?"

In the various excellent "Speakers," &c, published, the greater number of pieces are more fitted for reading than reciting. To supply a want much felt on this account by Elocutionists, the present Collection has been made, in which every passage chosen is specially adapted for recitation.

The Editor has adhered strictly to the best editions of the respective authors, without alteration. He suggests, therefore, that in reciting, "Heaven" should be substituted for the name of the Deity.

He begs respectfully to thank Sir Edward BulwerLytton, the Bight Honourable Thomas Babington Macaulay, and the various Authors and Publishers who have kindly allowed the insertion of copyright passages.

March, 1857.

Price 2s. 6d., Post-free/or 30 Stamps.
A METHOD

OF

CULTIVATING THE SPEAKING VOICE,

By which it may he greatly improved in Tone, increased in Power, developed in Compass, modulated and preserved, &c.

By C. W. SMITH, Professor of Elocution.

London: Bebhington, 426 Strand.

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