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83. Speech of Logan, Chief of the Mingoes,
84. Charles II and William Penn,
87. Character of Napoleon Bonaparte,
89. Capturing the Wild Horse,.
40. Scene at the Sandwich Islands,
45. The Alhambra by Moonlight,
53. The Righteous never forsaken,
57. The Scriptures and the Savior,
DIRECTIONS FOR READING.
THE great object to be accomplished in reading as a rhetorical exercise is, to convey to the hearer, fully and clearly, the ideas and feelings of the writer. In order to do this, it is necessary that the reader should himself thoroughly understand those sentiments and feelings. This is an essential point. It is true, he may pronounce the words as traced upon the page, and, if they are audibly and distinctly uttered, they will be heard, and in some degree understood, and, in this way, a general and feeble idea of the author's meaning may be obtained.
Ideas received in this manner, however, bear the same resemblance to the reality, that the dead body does to the living spirit. There is no soul in them. The author is stripped of all the grace and beauty of life, of all the expression and feeling which constitute the soul of his subject, and it may admit of a doubt, whether this fashion of reading is superior to the ancient symbolic or hieroglyphic style of communicating ideas.
At all events, it is very certain, that such readers, with every conceivable grace of manner, with the most perfect melody of voice, and with all other advantages combined, can never attain the true standard of excellence in this accomplishment. The golden rule here is, that the reader must be in earnest. The sentiments and feelings of the author whose language he is reading, must be infused into his own breast, and then, and not till then, is he qualified to express them.
In accordance with this view, a preliminary rule of importance is the following.
RULE. Before attempting to read a lesson, the learner should make himself fully acquainted with the subject, as treated of in that lesson, and endeavor to make his own, the feelings and sentiments of the writer.
For this purpose, every lesson should be well studied beforehand, and no scholar should be permitted to attempt to read any thing, which he can not easily understand. When he has thus identified
himself with the author, he has the substance of all rules in his own breast. It is by going to nature that we find rules. The child or the savage orator, never mistakes in inflection, or emphasis, or modulation. The best speakers and readers are those who follow the impulse of nature as felt in their own hearts, or most closely imitate it as observed in others. As the first and most important step, then, let the reader or speaker enter deeply into the feelings and sentiments, which he is about to express in the language of another. This direction is placed at the threshold of this subject, because the prevailing fault in reading is listlessness and dullness, and the principal cause of this fault, is want of interest in the subject which is or ought to be before the mind.
The directions which follow upon the subject of reading, are derived from observing the manner in which the best and most natural speakers and readers express themselves, and are presented to the learner as a standard for imitation, and by which he may judge of his deficiencies and departure from nature, and correct himself accordingly.
QUESTIONS.-What is the chief design of reading? In order to do this, what is first necessary? If a person reads without understanding the subject, what is the consequence? What method of communicating ideas was used in ancient times? When is a person qualified to read well? Repeat the rule. For the purpose of being able to observe this rule, what must be done? From whence are all rules derived? Why is the direction, given in the rule, placed here?
THE subject, first in order and in importance, requiring attention, is ARTICULATION. And here, it is taken for granted, that the reader is able to pronounce each word at sight, so that there may be no hesitating or repeating; that he has been taught to read with a proper degree of deliberation, so that there may be no confusion of sounds; and that he has learned to read exactly what is written, leaving out no words and introducing none. The object to be accomplished, under this head, may be expressed by the following general direction.
Give to each letter (except silent letters), to each syllable, and to each word its full, distinct, and appropriate