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THE

OR,

SELECTIONS ..

IN

PROSE AND POETRY;

CONSISTING OP

NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, ARGUMENTATIVE, DIDACTIC,

PATIIETIC, AND IIUMOROUS PIECES;

TOGETHER WITH

DIALOGUES, ADDRESSES, ORATIONS, SPEECHES. &c

CALCULATED

TO IMPROVE THE SCHOLAR IN READING AND SPEAKING; AND
TO IMPRESS THE MINDS OF YOUTH WITH SENTIMENTS

OF PIETY AND VIRTUE.

DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES,

IHRTY SIXTH EDITION.

BY J. OLNEY, A. M.

A'THOR OY NA PRACTICAL SYSTEM OF MODERN GEOGRAPHY AND ATLAS."

NEW YORK:
PRATT, WOODFORD, FARMER, AND BRACE.

NO. 4, COURTLANDT-STREET

1854.

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DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, 88. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the eighth day of August, in the afty

J fourth year of the Independence of the United States of Ainerica, Mess is Goodwin & Co., of the said District, have deposited in his office the title of a Bock, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:

“ The National Preceptor, or Selections in Prose and Poetry; consisting of narrative, descrip:ive, argumentative, didactic, pathetic, and numorous pieces : together with dialogues, addresses, orations, speeches, &c.; calculated to improve the scholar in reading and speaking, and to impress the minds of youth with sentiments of piety and virtue. Designed for the use of schools and academies. By J. Olney, Author of 'A practical systein of modern Geography and Atlas.'"

In conformity to the act of 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 the act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An act for the en couragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the au. thors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extend. ing the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and Other prints."

CHARLES A. INGERSOLL

Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of record, examined and sealed by me.

CHARLES A. INGERSOLI, Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

PREFACE.

The art of reading well, is a highly valued accomplishment, and in all our schools should be considered of the first importance; it is not only the foundation of good speaking, but it may be termed the basis of a finished education.

Experience has convinced me that it may be easily taught, by beginning with such lessons as are intelligible and interesting to the learner, and making each selection with reference to the natural progress of the mind. Where emotions are excited, there is little need of rules for their expres. sion. .

Questions like the following are often asked:—Why do children and youth more frequently fail in good reading, than in any other branch of education? Why do we often hear a youth, whose tones in conversation are varied and agreeable, read in a dull, monotonous manner? Why are there so few good readers in society? We believe a correct answer will be found in the fact that bad habits have been formed by a practice of reading uninteresting if not unintelligible exercises. Let any competent judge examine the books used in teaching this valuable art, and he will see that their compilers have hitherto but little known or regarded the taste, wants and capacities of those for whom they have laboured.

The following work is designed for the middle and higher classes in our Academies and Schools. In preparing it, great care has been taken to select such lessons, as are calculated to give exercise to the various emotions of the mind and the corresponding tones and inflections of the voice. It will be found to contain a greater quantity of interesting and useful matter than any other similar work; and the different selections are so arranged as to give the learner a knowledge of reading the various kinds of stylc, from the simple narrative to the lofty epic. The compiler flatters himself that the work is such an one as has long been needed; and in the earnest hope that it may be found useful to the young in improving their style of reading, and in exciting them to virtuous action,

Humbly submits it to the candor ·
of an enlightened public.

J. OLNEY. Hartford, A pril, 1831.

WQR 19 FEB'36

The following extract from the North American Review is inscried hera for.

the benefit of teachers and others interested in the education of youth.

“It ought to be a leading object in our schools to teach the art of reading. It ought to occupy three-fold more time than it does. The teachers of these schools should labor to improve themselves. They should feel, that to them, for a time, are committed the future orators of the land. We had rather have a child, even of the other sex, return to us from school, a first-rate reader, than a first-rate performer on the piano-forte. We should feel that we had a far better pledge for the intelligence and talent of our child. The accomplishment, in its perfection, would give more pleasure. The voice of song is not sweeter than the voice of eloquence. And there may be eloquent readers, as well as eloquent speakers. We speak of perfection in this art; and it is something, we must say in defence of our preference, which we have never yet seen. Let the same pains be devoted to reading, as are required to form an accomplished performer on an instrument; let us have our phonasci, as the ancients had, -the formers of the voice, the music-masters of the reading voice; let us see years devoted to this accomplishment, and then we shall be prepareu to stand the comparison. It is, indeed, a most intellectual acconiplishment. So is music, too, in its perfection. But one recommendation of the art of read. ing is, that it requires a constant exercise of mind. It demands continual and close reflection and thought, and the finest discrimination of thought It involves, in its perfection, the whole art of criticism on language.”

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