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and inconvenience with regard to books; treatises on the subjects, to which he has directed the attention of his pupils, being, for the most part, too voluminous, and too abstruse, for general utility. Verbal observations were not always remembered, even by those who were the most desirous of being informed. It was therefore desirable to have a work, in which a series of observations on these subjects should be combined, and that it should be so concise, as to render the study of Composition compatible with due attention to other branches of education. Among the numerous publications already in existence, the author sought in vain for a work of this description, and has therefore attempted to supply the deficiency, by that now offered to the Public.
His original intention was simply to put together in a didactic form, for the use of his own pupils, the general principles of Reasoning and Composition; but supposing that other teachers might choose to avail themselves of his labours, and that persons no longer studying under a master, might wish to improve, or at least to amuse themselves,
by reading such a work, he was induced to give it to the world in its present form.
The character of the work is, generally speaking, philosophical, but not of so profound a nature, as to startle even those to whom the word “philosophy” is alarming; nor are any of the discussions of such a length, as to prevent either the busy or the idle, if they read at all, from perusing them.
The author believes with Cowper, that
“ It is the sad complaint, and almost true,
Whate'er we write, we bring forth nothing new;"
and he has few pretensions to originality. To be useful, rather than to be original, has been his aim ; but if he has not presented to his readers any new thoughts, he hopes it will be found, that he has placed old ones in a new light; or so grouped them together, as to give them an air of novelty. He has endeavoured to profit by the sentiments of the various authors, to whose works he has had access, and has not scrupled, on some occasions, to use even their language ; but he is not conscious of having servilely followed any one : his desire has been to appropriate the motto, “ I think for myself.” Some observations on Education, with an explanation of the Author's method of teaching, will be found in the Introduction. It is therefore unnecessary to say any thing farther here. He is fully aware, that the work now offered to the Public has many imperfections; and, that notwithstanding his anxiety to promote the improvement of the rising generation, he may fail in his attempt; but even should the Public reject his proffered services, it cannot deprive him of the satisfaction resulting from the consciousness of having well intended.