The compiler has taken several pieces which have long been familiar to all persons acquainted with English literature, and which may to some extent be pronounced hackneyed; such as Collins's “Ode to the Passions” and Gray's “Elegy.” But the permanent popularity of such pieces is due to their intrinsic merit, and it seemed to the compiler that they ought not to be displaced to make room for productions which, it is true, are now commended by the gloss of novelty, but will not be likely to wear so well as those on which time has set its lasting seal of approval. Several pieces will also be found here which were first made generally known in Pierpont's “ American First Class Book," an admirable work, which, in many respects, has never been surpassed by any of the many similar compilations which have since appeared. In retaining these the compiler has been guided not only by his own judgment but by the express wishes of several teachers who were desirous that selections should be retained which have so long borne the sharp test of daily use.

In the preparation of the work the compiler has been aided by the judgment and experience of many practical teachers, especially several masters of grammar schools in this city, whose services and interest are gratefully remembered. And at every step he has had the valuable assistance of his publisher and friend, Dr. T. M. BREWER, to whose taste and judgment no small portion of whatever merit the work may be found to possess is to be ascribed.

The introductory portion, on reading and the training of the vocal organs, has been prepared expressly for this work by Prof. MARK BAILEY, of Yale College, a gentleman of large experience in the teaching of elocution; and it is confidently believed that teachers will find it of great practical service, and that it will add much to the value of the work.





[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »