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*3. Be careful to read neither too quickly nor too slowly.
A precipitant reader leaves no room for pauses ; fatigues himself; and lowers the dignity of his subject. His hearers lose much of what is delivered, and must always be dissatisfied with a reader who hurries and tires them. Children are very apt to read too fast and to take a pleasure in it, thinking that they who pronounce the words with the greatest rapidity, are the best scholars. The heavy, dronish, sleepy reader, and who often makes pauses where there should be none, is also very disagreeable. If he hems and yawns between the periods, he is still
4. Study to avoid an irregular mode of pronunciation.
It is a great fault in reading, to raise and fall the voice by fils and starts; to elevate and depress it unseasonably without regard to sense or stops; or always to begin a sentence with a high voice, and conclude it with a low one ; or, on the contrary, to begin with a low voice, and conclude with a high one.
To avoid these errors, the sentence should not be begun in too high, or too low a key; regard should be had to the nature of the points, and the length of the periods; and the reader's mind should be attentive to the subject, sense, and spirit of his author.
5. With the utmost care avoid a flat, dull, uniform voice, without emphasis or cadence, or a proper regard to the sense of what is reading.
This is a practice to which children who do not love learning, and who are tired of their lessons, are very prone. When this mode of reading becomes habitual, it is painful to the hearer, and very difficult to be remedied. The best means of cure are those prescribed for the preceding error: for if the mind be attentive to che sentiments delivered, the voice will be adapted to their nature and importance.
6. Reading with an improper tone, is a great and common fault of learners, and must be carefully avoided.
No habit is more easy to be contracted than this, or harder to be overcome. This unnatural tone in reading is always disgusting to persons of sense and delicacy. Some have a squeaking tone. Persons whose voices are shrill and weak, or overstrained, are apt to fall into this tone.--Some have a singing or canting note : others assume a high swelling tone. These lay too much stress on every sentence, and violate every rule of decent pronunciation.-Some affect an awful and striking tone, attended with " Do not,
solemn grimace; as if they wished to move the hearer with every word, whether the weight of the subject supports them or not. Some have a set, uniform tone of voice, which has already been noticed. Others have a strange, whimsical, whining tone, peculiar to themselves, and not easy to be described. They are continually laying the emphasis on words which do not require or de. serve it.
To avoid all kinds of unnatnral and disagreeable tones, we should read with the same ease and freedom that would mark our private conversation, on the saine subject. We do not hear persons converse in a tone ; if we did, we should laugh at them: says Dr. Watts, “ affect to change that natural and easy sound with which you speak, for a strange, new, awkward tone, as some do when they begin to read. We should almost be persuaded that the speaker and the reader were two different persons, if our eyes did not tell us the contrary.
We shall close these rules and observations, by a remark of considerable importance to young persons who are desirous of learn. ing to read well. Few rules on the subject are intelligible to children, unless illustrated by the voice of a competent instructer. They should, therefore, pay great attention to the inanner in which, their teacher, and other persons of approved skill, perform the business of reading. They should observe their mode of pronouncing the words, placing the emphasis, making the pauses, managing the voice, and adapting it to the various subjeets they read; and, in all these respects, endeavor to imitate them as nearby as possibles
TO THE ENGLISH READER.
SELECT SENTENCES AND PARAGRAPHS.
Modesty is one of the chief ornaments of youth.
No confidence can be placed in those who are in the habit of lying.
Neglect no opportunity of doing good.
Cleanliness promotes health of body and delicacy of mind. The real wants of nature are soon satisfied.
A contented mind is an inestimable treasure.
The most secret acts of goodness are seen and approved by the Almighty.
SECTION II. Our reputation, virtue, and happiness, greatly depend on the choice of our companions.
Good or bad habits, formed in youth, generally go with us through life.
We should be kind to all persons, even to those who are unkind to us.
When we acknowledge our misconduct, and are sorry for it, generous and good persons will pity and forgive us.
Our best friends are those who tell us of our faults, and teach us how to correct them.
If tales were not listened to, there would be no tale bearers.
To take sincere pleasure in the blessings and excellencies of others, is a sure mark of a good heart.
We can never treat a fellow-creature ill, without offending the gracious Creator and Father of all.
A kind word, nay, even a kind look, often affords comfort to the afflicted.
Every desire of the heart, every secret thought, is known to him who made us.
SECTION III. He that cares only for himself, has but few pleasures, and those few are of the lowest order.
We may escape the censure of others, when we do wrong privately; but we cannot avoid the reproaches of our own mind.
Partiality to self often hides from us our own faults ; we see very clearly the same faults in others.
Never sport with pain and distress in any of your amusements ; nor treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.
Vicious pursuits may yield a few scattered pleasures ; but piety and virtue will make our whole life happy.
Fancy paints pleasures at a distance, with beautiful colors; but possession often takes away their beauty.
We should accustom ourselves to bear small injuries patiently; we shall then be better able to support great
When provoked by the follies of others, think of your own imperfections, be patient and humble.
Without frugality none can be rich; and with it very few would be poor.
The good or bad disposition of children often shows itself in their behavior to servants and inferiors; it is seen even in their treatment of dumb animals.
They who ridicule the wise and good, are dangerous companions; they bring virtue itself into contempt.
We cannot be good as God is good, to all persons every where;
but we can rejoice, that every where there is a God to do them good.
SECTION IV. When blessed with health and prosperity, cultivate an humble and compassionate disposition: think of the distresses of human life; of the solitary cottage, the dying parent and the weeping orphan.
Avoid all harshness in behavior: treat every one with that courtesy which springs from a mild and gentle heart.
Be slow in forming intimate connexions: they may bring dishonor and misery.
Almost all our desires are apt to wander into an improper course : to direct them properly requires care ; but that care will render us safe and happy through life.
The days that are past are gone for ever; those that are to come may not come to us; the present time only is ours : let us, therefore, improve it as much as possible.
They who are moderate in their expectations, meet with few disappointments : the eager and presumptuous are continually disappointed.
Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well: but it is impossible to do any thing well, without attention.
Let us not expect too much pleasure in this life: no situation is exempt from trouble. The best persons are, no doubt, the happiest ; but they too have their trials and afflictions.
SECTION V. How greatly do the kind offices of a dutiful and affectionate child gladden the heart of a parent, especially when sinking under age or infirmities !
What better proof can we give of wisdom and goodness, than to be content with the station in which Providence has placed us ?
An honest man (as Pope expresses himself) is the no blest work of God.
How pleasant it is, when we lie down at night, to reflect that we are at peace with all persons ! that we have