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| Chr. I. Of Language, and its Origin
II. Alphabetic Writing
III. Materials Anciently ured in Writing
IY. Scarcity of Books in former Times
OF THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF COMPOSITION:
II. Criticisms on Everett, Webster, Calhoun, and Clay 13.8
V., The Effect on it of the Saxon Conquest
CHAP. I. SECT. I. Poets of our Revolutionary Period .
THE OCCASION FOR THIS WORK. LONG experience in teaching has convinced the compiler that none of the numerous works known to him on the subject of Rhetoric and Composition are sufficiently adapted to a large class of scholars, in academies and common schools, that need, and are susceptible of, instruction in this important branch of knowledge. He has been compelled, therefore, by a regard to the interests of the young, and to the interests of the community, to undertake the compilation of a work from the best sources, which, being the result of long experience, may not only aid teachers and scholars in this branch of education, but may render the pursuit of it more agreeable than any other treatise within his knowledge. One great objection to almost every treatise hitherto furnished to schools, is their dry, uninteresting, and even repulsive character in the view of the young; which, added to the dislike to efforts in composition which the young generally enter. tain, render those works of comparatively little service. THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS BRANCH OP EDUCATION BEING MORE
EXTENSIVELY AND THOROUGHLY TAUGHT IN ACADEMIES AND COMMON SCHOOLS.
The compiler of the present work begs leave to express his conviction that the labors of teachers in all our schools are di. rected too exclusively to the securing of correct habits in speak. ing and reading the language; and that altogether too limited an amount of time and share of attention are employed in teaching the art of correctly WRITING the language. He believes that during several years of attendance at school, the time of the pupil could not be more profitably employed, during an hour or a half hour of each day, than in transcribing from books, or in composing, until the art is acquired of correctly committing to paper what may be heard or thought. To do this, implies a practical and thorough knowledge of orthography, punctuation, and proper use of capital letters, in addition to a knowledge of grammatical and rhetorical principles.
When we consider how many, who have enjoyed the advantages of common and even of academic schools, are unable to write down their own thoughts or the speeches of other persons; how much occasion every one has in life for the ability to communicate or preserve his thoughts by writing ; when we consider how many persons of strong powers of reflection make no record of their valuable thoughts because they were not educated to the practice of it at school; when we consider, also, how difficult and protracted the process must be of learning to reduce our