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YOUNG LADIES' READER :
COMPREHENSIVE COURSE OF INSTRUCTION
THE PRINCIPLES OF RHETORICAL READING;
A CHOICE COLLECTION OF EXERCISES IN READING,
FOR THE USE OF THE
HIGHER FEMALE SEMINARIES,
48 ALSO, THE HIGHER CLASSES IN FEMALE SCHOOLS GENERALLY.
BY CHARLES W. SANDERS, A.M.,
AUTHOR OF "A SERIES OF SCHOOL READERS,'
S. C. GRIGGS &
39 & 41 LAKE STREET.
IVISON, PHINNEY & COMPANY,
48 & 50
Entered, acoord ng to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by
CHARLES W. SANDERS.
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
"As in life, so in one's studies, the most beautiful and the most humane thing is, I think, so to blend the grave and the gay, that the one may not settle down into melancholy, nor the other degenerate into levity." This observation, which is from the younger Pliny, one of the most agreeable writers of antiquity, and which, in other words by other authors, has often been made, indicates the principle, so far as style is concerned, on which the whole series of Sanders' Reading Books, from first to last, has been designed to be constructed.
In none of the series, however, has the application of this principle been more studiously observed, since in none has it appeared more decidedly appropriate, than in the present volume. In the selection of the matter, after the first and highest duty, which was to secure in each piece the best possible moral tendency, that which came next in the order of importance, was to awaken and prolong attention by a judicious combination of all varieties of style, subject, and diction.
But, though the primary object of this, as of every similar work, is to furnish a suitable series of exercises in the art of reading, and though, for the better accomplishment of that purpose, compositions, in which gravity and gayety are duly mingled, have been carefully sought, while direct moral instructions are frequently enforced, the book will be found, beside all this, to abound every where in those incidental and collateral teachings, which are all the more striking, because unexpected, and all the more impressive, because connected with particular characters and circumstances.
To secure pieces, accordingly, in which noble sentiments, expressed in elegant language, fall, as it were, by the way-side, and acquire extraordinary interest from extraordinary circumstances, has been the most difficult task in the preparation of this Young Ladies' Reader. It has cost a deal of time and a deal of thought. For what, in some general sense, might be considered an admira
ble composition, might, when regarded as an elucational agent, be found, in some particulars, perchance in every important particu lar, utterly inappropriate. With what success the author has executed this part of his design, is left to the judgment of those experienced in the business of education.
In that part of the work devoted to a formal course of instruc tion in the principles of Rhetorical Reading, will be found, it is believed, whatever aid written rules can give, on a subject like this. Much, however, as is universally confessed, must, after all, be left to the voice, the taste, and the manner of the living instructor.
In explanatory notes, sometimes at the head of an exercise, sometimes at the bottom of the page, the pupil will often find things explained, which are necessary to be known, in order to a full understanding of what is required to be read. This feature of the work is simply an application, so far as seemed desirable, of the author's well-known plan of explanation, adopted in the other members of the series.
If these few prefatory words convey some general idea of the plan and purpose of the work, their object is sufficiently accomplished. A more thorough acquaintance with the nature of its claims to usefulness, as a text-book, can be derived only from a careful examination of its contents, and a fair trial in the schoolroom. That it will bear both these tests, is the cherished hope of the author-a hope founded upon the experience of many years in the actual business of teaching, many interchanges of thought with the most eminent educators, added to a wide, varied, and careful observation in all classes of schools.
That it may, therefore, serve to aid in developing and training the powers of the voice,-in securing the charms of a graceful and effective delivery,-in instilling noble and elevated sentiments, -in imparting a taste for those refined pleasures that grow out of a just appreciation of what is sublime and beautiful in thought, chaste and elegant in expression,-that it may, in fine, prove a worthy auxiliary in that sort of educational discipline that makes THE TRUE LADY, is the confident expectation with which it is submitted to those, for whose use it has been especially prepared.
New York, April, 1855