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To young ladies who have studied the rules of Rhetoric at school, without fully understanding them, or without paying much attention to them, these examples may be of service in reviving and increasing their knowledge.
They may assist those who are writing exercises in composition, in the formation of a good style, and in the use of figurative language. Models, in any art, are often better than rules;--not for servile imitation; they inspire a correct taste, and delicate perception of the beautiful.
It has been left, in most cases, for the reader to discover the rhetorical figure, or figures, in each piece, without the aid of italics; such assistance would be a poor compliment, both to author and reader.
The examples are many of them from American authors; this neede no apology; it is a pleasure to find that they have already contributed so largely to English Classic Literature.