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IMPROVE THE MINDS AND REFINE THE
TASTE OF YOUTH.
TO WHICH ARE PREFIXED
RULES IN ELOCUTION,
DIRECTIONS FOR EXPRESSING THE PRINCIPAL PASSION
OF THE MIND.
BY NOAH WEBSTER, Esq.
From Sidney's Press, New-Haven for
ASHDVERTISEMENT TO THE REVISED EDITION,
THE American Selection, tho' well received and much used in schools,has been thought susceptible of improvement; the compiler has therefore made some alterations, omitting some pieces which are believed to be less adapted to interest young minds, and substituting others, which cannot fail to be as entertaining as useful. The present editition comprehends a great variety of sentiment, morality, history, elocution, anecdote and description; and it is believed, will be found to contain as much interesting matter, as any compilation of the size and price.
NEW-HAVEN Sept. 1804.
District of Connedicut, fs. BE it remembered that on the thirtienth day of January in the twenty eigbth year of the Independence of the United States of America, NOAH WEBSTER Fun, of said District Esq, hatb deported in this office the title. of a book the right whereof be claims as author, in the words following, viz.
An American Selection of Lessons in Reading and Speaking, calculated to improve the minds and refine the taste of youth-To wbich are prefixed Rules in Elocution and directions for expresing the principal pasiens of the mind. By NOAH WEBSTER Yun. Author of Dissertations on the English Lang guage, Collection of Efsays and Fugitive Writings, the Prompter, &c." In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled an all for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times tberein mentioned.
Charles Denison, Clerk of the Distria
CHARLES DENISON, Clarke RULES FOR READING AND SPEAKING.
articulation be clear and distinct.
A GOOD articulation coħsists in giving every letter and
syllable its proper pronunciation of sound.
pause where the fenfe requires none. The characters we use as stops are extremely arbitrary, and do not always mark a suspension of the voice. On the contrary, they are often employed to separate the several members of a period, and show the grammatical construction. Nor when they are designed to mark pauses, do they always determin the length of those pauses, for this depends much on the sense and the nature of the subject. A semicolon, for example, requires a longer pause in a grave discourse, than in lively and spirited declamation. However as children are incapable of nice distinctions, it may be best to adopt, at first, fome general rule with respect to the pauses, and teach them to pay the same attention to these characters as they do to the words.* They should be cautioued likewise against pausing in the midst of a member of a fentennce, where the sense requires the words to be closely connected in pronunciation
'Let the accented fyllables be pronounced with a proper stress of voice; the ́unaccented, with little stress of voice, but distinctly.
* See my American Spelling book, in which the pauses of the com6538, femicolon,
colon, and period, are fixed at one, two, four, fix. 40419