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planation, but every teacher knows that common words in daily and hourly use, are far from being best understood. A vague conception of their general import is the most that can be assumed; as is evident from the embarrassments of the young when called upon to explain even the most familiar term. But what would be the result of extending definition to every word ? It would swell a reading-book beyond all reasonable dimensions; and in fact convert it into a dictionary. But

2. Whether we defined a few or all of the words in a section, our definitions would be necessarily defective. A given definition could comprehend no more than the meaning of a word in a given place; and the word with this meaning may seldom occur. It may be derived from the primary meaning by a remote analogy; or it may be idiomatic, and have a very odd, if not inexplicable meaning: yet this is the only meaning given by the definition, and hence that which the pupil will attach to the word, when he meets with it elsewhere, however incompatible with the sentiment of the place in which he finds it. A definition to be really useful, should begin with the primary meaning of a word and then proceed to its different modifications; but this again would convert the reading-book into a dictionary.

3. This practice of appending definitions to reading-lessons, beyond very narrow limits, is positively injurious. It relieves the pupil from the wholesome necessity of exercising his own powers of reflection, discrimination, and memory. It makes him a passive recipient, where he should be an active inquirer. It deprives him of every advantage derived from personal investigation. It makes him, in short, a mere parrot: capable only of the same stupid repetition.

4. It is altogether an unnecessary practice, except perhaps in the earlier stages of learning to read. We have several cheap dictionaries admirably adapted to the use of our common schools, and, I had almost said, infinitely more intelligible to the pupils in these schools, than the crude definitions (more difficult to be understood than the words they define) which I have found in the books that have fallen under my observation. But enough.

I will only add in conclusion that my enumeration of words to be defined at the end of each section, in no case comprises every word in that section. This would cause too frequent repetition. I have aimed at enumerating a number sufficient for exercise, and to secure a thorough knowledge of the subject treated. More remotely, I have aimed also, not merely at having a definition first or last of every word i2 the book, but in one part or another, a repetition of it two or three times, that it may be permanently lodged in the pupil's memory.

Teacher, my plan is before you: I earnestly press its importance on your attention. Have a dictionary yourself: see that every one of your pupils, has one. Use it diligently yourself; see that they use it; and I promise with a confidence inspired by experience, that the result will be a degree of mental discipline, an independence of thought, an accession to the power of memory, and an extensive and accurate knowledge of language not to be obtained in double the time, by any other method.

Hamilton College, Jan. 1, 1848.


In accordance with a very general wish expressed by teachers, the series of exercises on modulation in the Third Reader are here repeated. The different movements of the voice are sufficiently explained under the successive heads, as they occur; and I shall, therefore, in this place, merely enumerate and describe the signs of those movements. These signs, be it observed, are used in these exercises only. 1. The bend is represented thus : (') the voice turns slightly upward. 2. Partial close

falls. 8. Perfect close


lower. 4. The upward slide


moves upward. 5. The downward slide


downward. 6. The waving slide

thus 7. The double slide


upward and down ward.


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I.-EXERCISES ON PERFECT CLOSE. (For the meaning of perfect close, see “Course of Reading,” p. 39, “ Elements of Read.

ing and Oratory," chap. III. ii. 4.) 1 Yes. No. 2

Birds fly. 3 The sun shines. 4 This is a pleasant day. 5- Children should obey their parents. 6 Obedient children make their parents happy. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. viii

REMARKS.—Perfect close being a fall of the voice which is designed to intimate that the sentence is finished, care should be taken by the teacher to have it executed properly. (See Elements of Reading and 'Oratory, Ch. VI., Rule I., VI., VII.)

Three faults in particular should never be allowed to pass without correction.

1. Keeping the voice up, as the saying is, at the end of a sentence as if there was not a period there, but a comma; and consequently, as if the end of the sentence was not reached, but something more was about to follow. The voice should fall.

2. The voice should not only fall, but fall decisively to the key. An im. perfect fall is almost as bad a fault'as none. It fails to show that the sentence is closed.

3. The pupil should be guarded against a fall unnaturally deep. Of this, however, there is little danger, if he reads as he talks ; and this is the way he should always read, if he read at all. Should he read with a tone higher than the tone of conversation, he will probably fall at the end of the sentence just as low as he would if reading at a lower pitch; and this is what I mean by a fall unnaturally deep.

Let the pupil pronounce “Yes” and “ No," in answer to any question which may be put to him, and then deliver the last word of each of the exemples precisely in the same manner, and he will accurately express perfect olose.


II.-EXERCISES ON THE BEND AND PERFECT CLOSE. (See “ Course of Reading,” p. 39, and “ Elements of Reading and Oratory," Ch. III. ii. 24 1 Very early in the morning', the first day of the week', they 2 came to the sepulchre. The man and horses that were

drowned yesterday, have not been found. The warbling of

birds', the murmuring of streams', the gay tints of meadows', 3 the coolness of woods', the fragrance of flowers', and the

sweet smell of plants', contribute greatly to the pleasures of the mind', and the health of the body. When

you shall see the snow melting away, and streams 4 running along the road and down the hill-sides to the river ;

when you shall see the grass beginning to look green, and the buds on the trees to swell'; especially when you shall hear the sweet song of the robin'; then know that spring has come, REMARKS.-As the perfect close is the sign of completion, so the bend is the sign of continuation. Wherever it occurs, the voice turns slightly upward. This will be observed in reading the examples. (See Elements of Reading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rule I., VI., VII.). I must caution the teacher,

1. Not to allow his pupils to confound the bend with the rising or upward slide to be noticed hereafter. The bend is a slight turn of the voice upward on the last word, or syllable of a word; while the upward slide is a gradual ascent of the voice through a whole sentence. E. g. If you deliver the first clause of the first example above, “ Very early in the morning," with the bend, you will deliver all the words on a level until you reach the last syllable ing, on which you will turn the voice up: if you deliver it with the slide, you will begin to rise from the word very, and continue to rise until you reach the end, which would be very bad reading indeed.

The teacher should not permit a bend to be introduced too often : not oftener than between the principal divisions of the sentence; as in example fourth, at river, swell, and robin. To introduce them too often, as at away, and green, causes monotony.

III.—EXERCISES ON PARTIAL AND PERFECT CLOSE. (See Course of Reading,” p. 39, and “ Elements of Reading and Oratory," Ch. III. ii. 4.) 1 He that is not with me, is against me'; and he that gather

eth not with me, scattereth. 2 And he said unto her, “ Daughter, be of good comfort': thy faith hath made thee whole': go in peace.

And as he said these things unto them, the Scribes and 3 Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him

to say many things': laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.

If careless, ignorant, or faithless rulers are chosen to take 4 care of the country, wars and commotions may follow': pov

erty and vice may spread over the land : ignorance and misery may take the place of knowledge and prosperity.

No one can tell the suffering, sorrow, and despair there must have been among the millions of wounded men': among 5 the millions who were bereaved of their friends': among the

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millions who were stripped of their fortunes': among the millions who were reduced to slavery. REMARKS.- Partial close is a fall of the voice which prepares the way for, i. e. leads us to expect, perfect close. The voice falls from a higher point, and does not fall quite so low as in perfect close. To deliver a sentence having one or more parts ending with partial close, correctly, the second part should be read or spoken in a slightly lower tone of voice than the first; and the third in a lower than the second; and the fourth in a lower than the third; and so on to the end; so that there shall be a gradual descent from the beginning to the end : a succession of steps, as it were, to perfect close. (See Elements of Reading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rule IX.)

To read the parts successively in a higher tone of voice, would injure the sense : to read them all in the same tone of voice would produce an extremely unpleasant monotony, when the very soul of good reading is variety.

Sometimes, however, when the sentence has many parts, and is a very long sentence, it may be necessary to read some of the middle parts in the game tone, because there is not compass enough in all voices to keep on descending uninterruptedly to the endo


UPWARD SLIDE. (See “ Course of Reading," pp. 39, 44, and “Elements of Reading and Oratory,” Ch.

III. ii. 3.) 1 Can you read ? 2 Will they go home then ? 3 Did you see him there at that time? 4 Can a hair of my head fall to the ground without permis

sion from my heavenly Father? 5 Am I my brother's keeper? said the unhappy man.

A succession of Upward Slides. 6 Will the Lord cast off forever? and will he be favorable no

more? 7 Doth his promise fail forevermore ? hath God forgotten to

be gracious ? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies ? 8 Have ye not known ? have ye not heard ? hath it not been

told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundation of the world ? REMARKS.—1. The first four of these sentences will be well read, when the voice is made to ascend gradually until the end is reached. All questions of the same kind, and not longer than these, should be read in the same manner: when they are very long, the middle portion may be read in a leve tone of voice. Care, however, should be taken never to let the voice sin) below the beginning. (See Elements of Reading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rul II.)

2. The fifth example is one of a numerous class. When the question X thus followed by a clause or circumstance, the slide of the question is coutinued to the end of the clause; e. e. the clause is read as if it formed a part of the question. (See ibid.)

3. When two or more questions of this kind are united in one sentence, as in examples 6, 7, 8, each of them should be separately read with tha upward slide; but each slide in succession should

begin slightly higher and end slightly higher than the one preceding. (See Elements of Reading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rule XII.)



2. THE DOWNWARD SLIDE. (See “ Course of Reading,” pp. 39, 47, and “ Elements of Reading and Oratory," Ch. IIL

ii. 3, 2.) 1 2 Where then ? 3 How is this ? 4 Who told you that ? 5 In what can I serve you ? 6 How long will they remain in Boston ? 7 Whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in

the wilderness ! 8 By whom was this done { said John to himself, when he

entered the room.


A series of Downward

Slides. 9 By what authority doest thou these things and who gave thee this authority ?

What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness & 10 and what communion has light with darkness ? and what

concord has Christ with Belial ? or what part has he that believes with an infidel and what agreement has the temple of God with idols ? REMARKS.-1. The delivery of this kind of question is very much affected by emphasis. (See Exercise on Emphasis.). Apart from emphasis, however, or with emphasis on the first word, the voice gradually descends to the end of the sentence, if not a very long sentence : if long, the middle of it may, be delivered in a level tone. (See Course of Reading, p. 47.-Elements of Beading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rulo III.)

2. The circumstance at the end of the question in example 8th, should be delivered with a continuation of the downward slide. So in all similar cases.

8. When two or more questions of this kind are united in the same sentence, as in examples 9, 10, each after the first should begin lower and descend lower than the one preceding. (See Elements of Reading and Oratory, Ch. VI., Rule XV.)


(See “ Course," p. 40, and “ Elements," Ch. III. ii. 3, 3.) 1 He ? 2 They went ! 3 So she came ? 4 The company saw it ? 5 You take a little pudding then ? 6 You will not think of giving me any thing in return ? 7 Let me stay at home with you to-day, my dear mother ? 8 Surely thou wilt not slay the righteous with the wicked !

exclaimed this wise and good man,

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