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In preparing the work the author has used a liberty accorded in such cases, that of modifying the passages taken from other authors, to suit his purpose. He has chosen among the wilderness of flowers, rather with reference to quality than a great name. He has particularly endeavored to make an amusing and instructive volume, and pieces which would especially exercise the art of elocution have had a preference. In supplying the vacancies which abundant research still left, recourse has been had to original compositions.
The author is bound to acknowledge his obligations to teachers, who have aided him by their valuable suggestions; and it is proper for him to say, that, in the Hints to Readers and Speakers, he has derived many ideas from Dr. Porter's Analysis, Hall's Reader's Guide, and Kirkham's Elocution. In the Etymological Exercises, he has availed himself of the elaborate and complete work of Oswald.
As it respects the general plan of these works, the author lays little claim to originality. The idea of prefacing the lessons by a series of Rules, adopted in the Third Reader, and in this also, was introduced by Murray, long since, and has been acted upon by others. The application of these rules, as practised in the last two volumes of this series, is believed to be peculiar, and it is hoped may be useful. The following of the reading lessons with spelling lessons derived from the reading matter, has been long practised and is here adopted. The pointing out of inaccurate pronunciation, and the questions for examination, as to the sense and meaning of the lessons, are common and obvious means of instruction. The Etymological Exercises in this volume are a new application of what has been before the public for several years. The plan of requiring pupils to study reading lessons, and one which is deemed very important, appears to have been in successful practice in Europe for a considerable period. The objects of this have been stated to be, to render the acquiring of the art of Reading more easy and agreeable to the pupil; to make the particular knowledge contained in the lessons available to him; and, by a careful analysis of each sentence, to give him a thorough acquaintance with our language. These objects are too important to be overlooked, and the author has sought to ensure their attainment.
But, while the author thus resigns all claims to invention, he hopes he has been able to select and combine in this series, to which the publishers have given the title of Comprehensive, the best aids and helps that have been devised for this species of schoolbook; while, in accomplishing his task, he believes he has copied nothing from the various manuals in common use in our schools.
Hints to Readers and Speakers 7 43. The Fisherman B.Cornwall. 101
63. The River
Franklin. 67 64. Reputation
65. Anecdote of Dwight and Den-
Wm. Howitt. 239
118. The Coral Insect
HINTS TO READERS AND SPEAKERS.
The following hints embrace nearly the same topics as the rules prefixed to "the Third Reader:" they are designed to enforce those rules the attention of the pupil, in a manner adapted to his more advanced progress. It is obvious, however, that their utility must depend chiefly upon their application by the teacher, in the course of tuition.
1. The first requisite in reading or speaking to others, is a clear and distinct articulation.
Articulation is the uttering of syllables or words. In reading or speaking to others, you aim at producing a certain effect upon the minds of your hearers. In order to accomplish this, you must induce them to listen and become interested in what you say. But auditors will never listen with interest, unless they can hear what is said without effort.
To make persons hear easily, it is less necessary to speak loud, than to utter each word clearly and roundly. Every one who has been in the habit of speaking to deaf persons, knows, that the surest way to make them hear is, not to vociferate, but to speak slowly and distinctly. Good articulation, then, is an essential requisite in reading or speaking to others. It has been said to be to the ear, what good print or a fair handwriting is to the eye. It is a pleasure to read these, as it is a revolting task to read bad and blurred print, or a nearly illegible handwriting. In the same way, we hear a good speaker with pleasure, while we are disgusted with a mumbling or a mouthing one. À certain writer says, "In just articulation, the words are not to be hurried over; nor precipitated syllable over syllable; nor, as it were, melted together in a mass of confusion. They should be neither abridged nor prolonged; nor swallowed nor forced; they should not be trailed nor drawled, nor let to slip out carelessly, so as to drop unfinished. They are to be delivered out from the lips as beautiful coins newly issued from the mint, deeply and accurately impressed, perfectly finished, neatly struck by the proper organs, distinct, in due succession, and of due weight."
The importance of a distinct articulation in a speaker, may be illus trated by what Cicero tells us of the ancient Romans. "The whole theatre was in an uproar," says he, "if one of the speakers happened to put in one syllable too many or too few."
2. Study accuracy of pronunciation.
Walker's Dictionary is the common standard of pronunciation in England, and perhaps in this country; but, as a guide to American speakers, Worcester may be safely recommended. It is desirable, that every person learning the art of reading, as the means of using his mother tongue with the best effect, should habitually keep a Dictionary at his side, as well for pronunciation as definition. It is especially important, that the pupil establish the habit of attention to pronuncia
tion, so that he may correct such vulgarisms as he may have adopted, and avoid others which he might catch from those around him. In the Third Reader, I have pointed out, lesson by lesson, the words that occur which are often pronounced improperly. In order more effectually to warn the pupil against errors of this kind, I will enumerate certain classes of faults to which he is exposed, and, in his reading of the subsequent lessons, I invite his frequent reference to this list.
The letter a, occurring in the first syllable, is often omitted or imperfectly sounded. Thus ascribe is pronounced 'scribe; allure, 'lure; adorn, 'dorn.
The same fault is much more common with the vowel e; prepare is pronounced pr'pure; preserve, pr'serve; exist, 'xist; eclectic, 'clectic; depart, d'part; deliver, d'liver; ensnare, 'nsnare; traveller, trav'ller ; every, ev'ry; several, sev rai.
In some words, instead of having its proper sound, e is read like u in suppose. Thus belief, is read bul-ief; severe, suv-cre; certain, sutt'n; before, buf-ore; behold, buh-old So with the vowel i. Impure is pronounced 'mpure; imprison, 'mprison; incautious, 'ncautious. So with the vowel o. Correct, erect; collapse, c'lapse; occur, 'cur; omnipotent, 'mnipotent.
But the most common fault with o in the first syllable, is to sound it as u. Compress is pronounced cumpress; congeal, cungeal; monopoly, munopoly; convey, cunvey; propitious, prupitious; concur, cùncur; compare, cumpare
So as to the vowel u: Unveiled is pronounced 'nveiled; suppose, s'pose; suspend, s'pend; surrender, s'render, &c. It is often pronounced as o. Undo is called ondo; untie, ontie, &c.
The following terminations are very often pronounced badly. Less is pronounced liss. Hapless, hapliss; sleepless, sleepliss, &c. En is sometimes pronounced in, and sometimes the e is entirely left out. Thus woollen, woollin or wool'n; deafen, deafin or deaf'n. So with ed. Folded, foldid
Ness is pronounced niss. Dampness, dampniss. Able and ible are pronounced uble. Eatable, eatubic; vendible, venduble.
Al is read without a. Parental, parent'l; musical, music'l; metal, met'; capital, capit'l; rebel, reb'l; chapel, chap'l.
Ent is pronounced unt; a very common and vulgar fault; moment, momunt; prudent, prudunt; confidence, confidunce; silent, silunt ; anthem, anthum; dependent, dependunt.
Ing is pronounced in. It is very common to say for singing, singin; for eating, eatin; being. bein; flying, flyin; dancing, dancin; resting,
Ow and o are pronounced er. Window, winder; tobacco, tobacc-er; fellow, felier; widow, widder; follow, foller; motto, motter.
Ance, ency are pronounced unce, uncy. Acquaintance, acquaintunce; abhorrence, abhorrunce; confidence, confidunce; assistance, assistunce.
Ive is pronounced long instead of short, like i in ivy, instead of like i in rivet. Thus native is made native; missive, missive.
El is pronounced without the e. Novel, nov'l; model, mod'l; vessel, vess'l; gravel, grav'l; level, lev'l.
Ain is pronounced without the ai.
Fountain, fount'n, &c.