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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by
A. L. BANCROFT & COMPANY,
THE Analysis of Reading, which constitutes Part First of this volume, has been elaborated and extended so as to include every important principle of Elocution. It has been our aim in this introductory portion of the work to present, in a compact form, the accepted ideas of the best authors on the subject, interwoven with such original suggestions and modifications as were deemed necessary to harmonize the whole.
The definitions and treatment of the principles of Reading are clear and concise, and the arrangement is logical and systematic; so that, while it is impossible for any one to learn to read well entirely by rule, the student will at least acquire a fixed and definite idea of the essential elements of good Reading
We have also given brief outlines of the classes of Composition, Figures of Speech and Versification. By a careful study of the Reading Lessons with reference to these matters, a keener interest in the subject-matter will be awakened, the literary taste of the pupil will be cultivated, and better reading will be attained.
The training of the voice bears an intimate relation to reading, and a few suggestions with reference to Vocal Calisthenics have therefore been given.
As many selections suitable for recitation, declamation and dialogue have been included in the volume, a brief chapter on Oratory has also been appended.
PART SECOND is made up of Select Readings, and presents an array of the choicest extracts, gleaned from the whole field of American and English literature. It is not possible, within the narrow limits of a School Reader, to give selections from
all the standard authors, but it will be found that the leading and characteristic writers in the several departments of literature have been fairly introduced. The literature of the Pacific Coast has received, as is believed to be proper, some special recognition, but not to the extent of being sectional or exclusive.
While we have made special effort to have our selections as varied as possible, we have never lost sight of the great desiderata in a School Reader - suitable matter for elocutionary work, and sound models for English composition.
The biographical sketches of the authors from whom selections have been made, are as full as the nature of the case would admit. They have been compiled with great care, and it is believed that they will serve, not only to impart much useful information, but to awaken and stimulate a love of literature which will prove of life-long value to the student.
Notes explanatory of biographical, historical and mythological references have been inserted at the end of each lesson, as also definitions of all unusual or obsolete words used in the text.
In the arrangement of the selections, a pleasing and judicious variety is presented by passing from prose to poetry, and from one topic to another widely different in character, thus avoiding that weariness and satiety which necessarily ensue from reading selections grouped with reference to topics.
The present volume completes the Pacific Coast Series. Another volume, however, “The Instructive Reader," has been prepared, to be used in place of the Fifth by those teachers who believe that a higher Reader should be composed mainly of material suited to instruct pupils in the elements of the Natural Sciences, and to furnish them with useful information concerning the Industrial Arts.
Inaugural Address (extract).
Thomas Jefferson. 39