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PIECES IN PROSE AND POETRY,
FROM THE BEST WRITERS.
DESIGNED TU ASSIST YOUNG PERSONS TO READ WITH PROPRIETY
AND EFFECT; TO IMPROVE THEIR LANGUAGE AND
OF PIETY AND VIRTUE.
WITH A FEW PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS
BY LINDLEY MURRAY,
TO WHICH IS ADDED
PRONUNCIATION OF WALKER.
REPRESENTING THE DIFFERENT SOUNDS OF THE VOWELS REFERRED
TO BY THE FIGURES.
BY RENSSELAER BENTLEY,
STEREOTYPED BY JAMES CONNER, NEW-YORK.
CORNER OF GREENWICH AND FULTON-STREETS.
Those that are engaged in the business of instruction, must have been im. pressed with the idea, that it is of the utmost importance for learners to become acquainted with the definition of words as they learn to read; the definition being retained much easier by referring to them as they occur in reading, than otherwise.
The English Reader is very properly considered a useful school-book ; the Reading Lessons are judiciously selected, and well calculated to imprese upon the youthful mind the love of piety aud virtue, and to form a taste for reading : but it contains many words that are not easily understood by the young learner, which difficulty is now obviated, by the addition of a Vocabulary of all the words therein contained, being annexed to the work. The words in the Vocabulary, are arranged in Alphabetical order, and adapted to the Orthography and Pronunciation of Walker;.the part of speech is likewise annexed, and the Definition given in plain and concise terms. Thus the pupil, while studying his lesson, can refer to the vocabulary, (the words being placed Alphabetically,) and ascertain the correct pronunciation, part of speech, and definition, of any word that occurs : which will enable him to understand what he reads. The Vocabulary will likewise answer for exercising pupils in Spelling and Defining words; as it is a selection of the most important words in the Language.
Some objections may be made to the plan of inserting all the words con. tained in the Reader, in the Vocabulary-as part of them are familiar and easily understood; but there are many learners who cannot define some of the most simple words; those that understand the most common words, will not need refer to them, but only such as they do not understand.
The English Reader having passed through so many different editions, has, in several instances, become very incorrect. The Orthography of many words is erroneous-some Sentences are carelessly altered, and the punctuation in many instances is very imperfect. These errours are carefully corrected in the present edition; every part of the work having been thoroughly examined.
The.present edition of the English Reader, will class with others of different editions, as the Reading Lessons are not altered in any respect, except being corrected.
Southern District of New York, to wit :BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the eighteenth day of November, A. D. 1826, in the fifty first year of the Independence of the United States of America. Rensselaer Bentley of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to voit ;-" The English Reader, or, pieces in Prose and Poetry, selected from the best writers. Designed to assist young persons to read with propriety and effect; to improve their language and sentiments; and to inculcate some of 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. To which is added a Vocabulary of all the words therein contained; divided, accented, defined, and the part of speech annexed; arranged in alphabetical order; adapted to the orthography and pronunciation of Walker. To which is prefixed a key representing the different sounds of the vowels referred to by the figures. By RENSSELAER BENTLEY, author of the English Spelling-Book, American Instructer, &c. In
to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps.charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned :” and also to an Act, entitled." An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled, An Act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of'maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical, and other prints."
Clerk of the Southern District of Nero-York.
MANY selections of excellent matter have been made for the benefit of 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 make 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 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 presumed, well 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 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 common 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 eccentrick. The frequent perusal of such composition naturally tends to infuse a taste for this species of excellence;
and to produce a habit of thinking, and of composing, with judge5, ment and accuracy.*
* 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 promoting perspicuous and elegant writing contained in the Appendix to the Author's English Grammar: By occasionally examining this conformity, he will be confirmed in the utility of those rules ; and be enabled to apply them with ease and dexterity.
It is proper further to observe, that the Reader and the Sequel, besides teaching to read accurately, and inculcating many important sentiments, may be considered as auxiliaries to the Author's English Grammar; as practical illustrations of the principles and rules contained in that work,