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AND PRIVATE ENTERTAINMENTS
The great wrong practiced upon our youth is that they are led to imitate an interpretation given to them by some person whom they admire, rather than to ascertain and apply the principles which govern the vocal expression of all sentiments and emotions that are conveyed by words.
The evil results of such a course of training might be averted, in a measure, if every teacher of Reading were an artist; but, unfortunately, few have the time or aptitude for such high attainments. The only safe course is to ascertain the principles of vocal expression by careful observation of nature in its best moods and manifestations, and to apply the rules thus obtained to such portions of our literature as may be easily classified with reference to the sentiment or passion they chiefly express.
In this book are contained selections from a very wide range of English authorship, such as are thought to be the best suited to the purposes of elocutionary training, and public reading and declamation.
An endeavor has also been made to give such specific directions as will aid the intelligent student to acquire a just conception of their sentiment.
The variety of the selections, added to the fact that each has been chosen with reference to its effectiveness and availability, will furnish material for every possible exercise in the ordinary requirements of school life, as well as in the more formal exercise of public reading and declamation.
The elocutionary suggestions will appear as introductions to the various classes of selections in their respective orders:
First. - PATHOS.
Sixth. - HUMOR.
In each class of selections an endeavor has been made to secure just as pleasing and effective pieces as though the choice were unrestricted, and, at the same time, to choose pieces that would serve as types of the sentiment or passion they are intended to illustrate.
If, in some cases, selections do not sustain, from beginning to end, the sentiment that they are intended to illustrate, they are placed where the leading or most characteristic sentiment of the piece would require; and it is thought that, in most cases, the selections are nearly perfect specimens of the several classes in which they are placed.
The compiler acknowledges, with thanks, the kind permission of Messrs. J. R. Osgood & Co., Hurd & Houghton, and D. Appleton & Co., to use the poems of Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, Cary, Bryant, and others, that are in this volume, and of which they hold the copyright.
R. McL. C. EVANSTON, ILL., January, 1878.