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Not being able to find, in any single text-book, the pieces which I have been in the practice of giving to my pupils, as exercises in recitation, I have been at length compelled to make a selection of my own. In making this selection, I have studiously avoided the introduction of numerous vapid common-place extracts, which are to be found in the best collections ; but which are exceedingly ill adapted to interest the student, and, consequently, to call forth those powers, the development and the cultivation of which, are the prime object of the teacher.
In the Introduction which follows, an attempt is made to simplify Mr. Walker's system of the inflections-with what degree of success, I leave it to the critic to judge; but, even if I have failed, I shall still content myself with the reflection, that the undertaking will most probably have the effect of causing that system to be more narrowly in quired into; and of eventually producing—what every teacher with whom I have conversed upon the subject, has acknowledged to be a thing “ devoutly to be wished”-a reduction in the number, and a more lucid economy in the arrangement of the rules. So much for the lovers of system.
For my own part, with all the respect in the world for system, I conceive it my duty to state that I consider system to be a merely secondary consideration, in the article of delivery—and to warn the student and the teacher against trusting to it chiefly, for the effect of the oration. Here Nature is your only goddess; for he is your only orator, whom she inspires. Emotion is the thing. One flash of passion upon the cheek-one beam of feeling from the eye-one thrilling note of sensibility from the tongue-one stroke of hearty emphasis from the arm-have a thousand times the value of the most masterly exemplification of all the rules, that all the rhetoricians, of both ancient and modern times, have given us, for the government of the voice--when that exemplification is unaccompanied by such adjuncts.
I have not attached to this collection any system of pronunciation, as pronunciation is better, because more amply, taught, in dictionaries. :
I have taken the liberty of differing from all my predecessors, in not attempting to give a description of the principal passions; and for this plain reason—No man who really feels a passion, can err in his delineation of it; and I conclude these few preliminary remarks, with one brief recommendation, which, I conceive, includes all that is essential in delivery
BE IN EARNEST.
Anningait and Ajut,
On the Pleasure of Painting
Damon and Pythias,
Fool of Quality, 39
Brethren should Dwell together in Harmony, Percival, 41
On the Abuse of Genius, with reference to the
Works of Lord Byron,
Advantages of uniting Gentleness of Manners,
with Firmness of Mind,
The Elder's Death-bed
On Lord Byron's Lines upon the Field of Waterloo, Anon. 53
The Perfect Orator,
Lord Byron considered as a Moralist and a Poet, Anon. 55
Story of Le Fevre,
The Departed Spirits of the Just are Spectators
of our Conduct on Earth,
Time and manner of the Arrival of Death,
those we Love, .