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The following manual, published at the request of teachers who wish to adopt the methods which it exemplifies, embodies the first part of the Author's usual course of oral and written exercises, designed to accompany the successive steps of the pupil's progress in the study of our own language. The work is intended to aid in rendering the teaching of English grammar and the rudiments of rhetoric, a strictly practical course of training, by leading the pupil to apply the principles presented in the oral instructions of his teacher, and the prescribed lessons of his grammatical and rhetorical text-books, to immediate use, in a series of written exercises, requiring an attentive study and an exact analysis of words. The design of these exercises, in detail, may be seen, by reference to the plan of the course, on a subsequent page. It may be sufficient, here, to say, that the series comprises, in addition to practice in orthoëpy, the analysis of words with reference to their orthography and etymology, their consequent signifi
cation, their appropriate definitions, their distinctive shades of meaning, and their comparative value in expression. This analytical course of study is accompanied by one of practical exemplifications, in the appropriate and discriminating use of words, in phrases and sentences, with a view to prepare the young student for the correct and effective expression of his own thoughts, and for the right interpretation and reception of those of others, through the medium of language. A closing exercise in the analysis of composition, is added, to complete the course of the study of words, by extending it to practice in the choice of expression, as an elementary branch of rhetoric. Material for this and other exercises, is furnished in the selection of essays and extracts, from eminent writers, whose style is marked by peculiar skill, or by felicity, in the use of language, with reference to a characteristic choice of words.
The exercises prescribed in the following pages, are designed, principally, as a course of practice for classes occupied with the study of English grammar, or of rhetoric. They may be adapted, however, by oral instruction from the teacher, so as to furnish an interesting and useful preparatory training for pupils who are yet too young for the formal study of grammar. Examples of oral lessons of this description, may be found in the Appendix. Even the youngest classes of readers may be advantageously employed on the orthoëpy, the orthography, the analysis and derivation, the definition and the use of words, and in the composition of phrases and sentences. The only point requiring the special assistance of the teacher, to enable the pupils of such classes to perform the - whole series of these exercises, will be found to lie in the derivation of words, and the recognition of their roots, when these are taken from the ancient or from foreign languages. This part of the word-exercises of young pupils, may, at the convenience of the teacher, be made matter of oral instruction from himself, or