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"THE

ENGLISH READER;

OR,

PIEOBS IN PROSE AND VERSE,

FROM THE
BEST WRITERS;

DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOUNG PERSONS
TO READ WITH PROPRIETY AND EFFECT

IMPROVE THEIR LANGUAGE AND SENTIMENTS; AND
TO INCULCATE THE MOST IMPORTANT

PRINCIPLES OF
PIETY AND VIRTUE.

WITH A FEW PRELIMINARY.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE PRINCIPLES

OF

GOOD READING.

BY LINDLEY MURRAY,
AUTHOR OF AN ENGLISH GRAMMAR, &c. &c

NEW-LONDON,
BOLL ES & WILLIAMS:

NEW-YORK,
COLLINS BROTHER & CO.

MANY selections of excellent matter have been made for the benefit young persons. Performances of this kind are of so great utility, that frest productions of them, and new attempts to ini prove 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 inost important principles of piety and virtue.

The pieces selected, not only give exercise to a great variety of emotions, and the correspondent tones 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 presuned, well calculated to teach youth to read with propriety and effect. A selection of sentences, in

h variety and proportion, with exact punctuation, hare been carefully observed, in all their parts as well as with respect to one another, will probably have a much greater effect, in properly teaching the art of reading, than is commonly imagined. In such constructions, every thing is accommodated to the understanding and the voice; and the commott 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 habil, and the improvements he has made, to sentences inore complicated art 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 sentimients are drawn, the reader may expect to find them connected and regular, sufficiently important and impressive, and divested of every thing tha at is either trile or eccentric. The frequent perusal of such composition naturally lents to infuse a taste for this species of excellence, and to produce a habit of think. 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 the attention of youth ; and to make strong and durable impressions on their mindst

The Compiler has been careful to avoid every expression and sentiment, that might gratify a corrupt niind, or, in the least degree, offend the eye or ear ol innocence. This he conceives to be peculiarly incuinbent on every person

* The learner, in his progress through this volume and the Sequel to it, will meet with numerous instances of composition, in strict conformity to the rules for promo ting perspicuous and elegant writing, contained in the Appendix to the Author'! English Grammar. By occasionally examining this conformity, he will be confirmed In ihe utility of those rules; and he enabled to apply them with case and dexterity.

It is proper further to observe, that the Reader and the Sequel, besides teaching lo read accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered auxiliaries to the Author's English Grammar; as practical illustrations of the princi ples and rules contained in that work.

f In some of the pieces, the Compiter has made a few alterations, chiefly verba). 10 & apt them tbe better to be sign of his work.

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and writes for the benefit ɔf youth. It would indeed be a great and hapi mprovement in education, if no writings were allowed to come under their otice. but such as are perfectly innocent; and if on all proper occasions, gey were encouraged to peruse those which lend to inspire a due reverence ir virtue, and an abltorrence of vice, as well as to animate them with sentia lents of piety and gooduess. Such impressions deeply engraven on their ainds, and connected with all their attainments, could scarcely fail of attend ag them through life, and of producing a solidits of principle and charac er, that would be able to resist the danger arising from future intercourse with he world.

The Author has endeavoured to relieve the grave and serious parts of hig collection, by the occasional admission of pieces which amuse as well as mstruct. If, however, any of his readers should think

reat a portion of the former, 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 be paid to this medium of improvement. When the imagination, of youth espriecially, is inuch entertained, the sober dictates of the understanding are regardlen with indifference; and the influence of good affections is either feeble, or transient. A tenperate use of such entertainment seems therefore requisite, to afford proper scope for the operations of the understanding and 1):4 beart.

The reader will perceive, that the Compiler has been solicitious to recommen to young persons, the perusal of the sacred Scriptures, by interspersing through his work some of the most beautiful and interesting passages of those litialisable 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 promote it on every proper occasion.

To iinprove the young mind, and to afford some assistance to tutors, in the arduous and important work of education, were the motives which led to this production. If the Author should be so successful as to accomplish these en is, even in a small degree, he will think that his time and paims have been Hellwployed, and will deein himself anıply rewarded.

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