« PreviousContinue »
PIROES IN PROSE AND VERSE,
· BEST WRITERS;
DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOUNG PERSONS
TO READ WITH PROPRIETY AND EFFECT
BY LINDLEY MURRAY,
MANY selections of excellent matter have been made for the benefit o young persons. Performances of this kind are of so great utility, 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 sufficiently 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 toues 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, ell calculated to teach youth to read with propriety and effect. A selection of sentences, in which variety and proportion, with exact punctuation, have been carefully observed, in all their parts as well as with respect to one another, will pra bably have a much greater effect, in properly teaching the art of reading, than is coinmonly imagined. In such constructions, every thing is accommodatec to the understanding and the voice; and the cominon difficulties in learning to read well are obviated. When the learner has acquired a habit of reading such sentences, with justness 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 many 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 perusal of such composition naturally lends to infuse a taste for this species of excellence, and to produce a habit of thing, iog, and of coinposing, with judgment and accuracy. *
That this collection may also serve the purpose of promoting piety and vir. tue, 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 manner which are calculated to arrest tho attention of youth ; and to make strong and durable impressions on their minds.t
The Compiler has been careful to avoid every expression and sentiment, that might gratify a corrupt mind, or, in the least degree, offend the eye or ear of innocence. This he conceives to be peculiarly incumbent on every person
* The learner, in his progress through this volume and the Seqnel to it, will meet with numerous instanees of composition, in strict conformity to the rules for promoting perspicuous and elegant writing, coritained in the Appendix to the Author's English Grammar. By occasionally examining this conformity, he will be confirmed to the utility of those rules; and be enabled to apply them with case and dexterity.
It is proper further to observe, that the Reader and the Sequel, besides teaching 10 read accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered a auxiliarios to the Author's English Grammar; as practical illustrations of the princi ples and rules contained in that work.
In somo of the pieces, the Compiler has made a few alterations, chiefly verbal, to * apstbem the better to the dig of his work.
who writes for the benefit of youth. It would indeed be a great and bapm 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 peruse those which tend to inspire a due reverence for virtue, and an abhorrence of vice, as well as to animate them with sentiments of piety and goodness. Such impressions deeply engraven on thetr
minds, and connected with all their atlainments, could scarcely fail of attend Sing them through life, and of producing a solidity of principle and charac
ter, that would be able to resist the danger arising from future intercourse with the world. ta The Author has endeavoured to relieve the grave and serious parts of his collection, by the occasional admission of pieces which amuse as well as instruct. If, however, any of his readers should think it contains too great a portion of the fornier, it may be some apology to observe, that in the existing publications designed for the perusal of young persons, the preponderance is greatly on the side of gay and amusing productions. Too much attention may Es lie paid to this medium of improvement. When the imagination, of youth i especially, is much entertained, the sober dictates of the understanding are
regardea with indifference; and the influence of good affections is either feeoble, or transient. A teinperate use of such entertainment seems therefore as requisite, to afford proper scope for the operations of the understanding and
the heart. muu The reader will perceive, that the Compiler has been solicitious to recom
mend to young persons, the perusal of the sacred Scriptures, by interspersing
through his work some of the most beautiful and interesting passages of those la invaluable writings. To excite an early taste and veneration for this great
rule of life, is a point of so high importance, as to warrant the attempt to proY 1970te it on every proper occasion.
To improve the young mind, and to afford some assistance to tutors, in the 51 arduous and important work of education, were the motives which led to this the production. If the Author should be so successful as to accomplish these mends, even in a small degree, he will hink that his time and pains bayo been is well employed, and will deem