Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year eighteen hundred and fiftytwo, by EPEs SARGENT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

so Many of the single pieces in this collection are protected by the copyright.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

The distinguishing features of the present collection are, the unusual variety and methodical arrangement of the materials; a comprehensive grouping, such as has not hitherto been attempted, of exercises from the most celebrated orators and popular debaters of ancient and modern times; the allotment of a liberal space to original translations from the French and other languages; and the introduction of notes, explanatory and biographical, with the dates of the birth and death of authors. Side by side with those pieces of acknowledged excellence, that justify the title of the work, will be found a large number that are now, for the first time, presented as exercises for recitation and declamation. In the case of selections, care has been taken to collate them with the latest and most authentic editions of the works from which they are extracted; and thus many current errors and mutilations have been avoided. Of the British parliamentary specimens, many are valuable, not only as models of style, but as illustrating the early history of our own country. Much original research has been bestowed on this part of the volume. The privilege of occasional compression being indispensable, it has been exercised with as scrupulous a regard as possible to the integrity of the text. Most of the extracts from Chatham, Pitt, Fox, and Sheridan ; nearly all from Burke, Grattan, Curran, and Brougham ; all but one from Canning and Macaulay; and all from Vane, Meredith, Wilkes, Sheil, Croker, Talfourd, Peel, Cobden, Palmerston, Russell, and others, are now, for the first time, introduced into a “Speaker.” Among the familiar masterpieces of American oratory will be found many new extracts, not unworthy of the association. They belong to the whole country, and no sectional bias has influenced the choice. Of the brilliant specimens of the senatorial eloquence of France, all but two have been translated expressly for this work. In the other departments of the volume, there has also been a considerable expenditure of original editorial labor; all the highly effective exercises from Massillon, Hugo, Pichat, Mickiewicz, and many others, having been translated; all those from Homer, Schiller, Delavigne, Bulwer, Mazzini, Kossuth, and

« PreviousContinue »