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STUDENTS OF ALL GRADES;
SPECIMENS AND EXAMPLES OF SCHOOL AND COLLEGE EXERCISES,
COMPOSITION, BOTH IN PROSE AND VERSE.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
By Harper & BROTHERS,
It would be presumptuous in any author to attempt to give rules, or to lay down laws, to which all the departments of English Composition should be subjected. Genius cannot be fettered, and an original and thinking mind, replete with its own exuberance, will often burst out in spontaneous gushings, and open to itself new channels, through which the treasures of thought will flow in rich and rapid currents. Rules and suggestions, however, are not wholly useless. They encourage the diffident, and give confidence to those whose want of conversance with ap. proved models renders it necessary for them to rely on foreign aid. In the volume to which this book is designed as a sequel, the author has attempted to render assistance in the removal of the two obstacles which beset the youthful writer in his first attempts at composition; to wit, the difficulty of obtaining ideas, or learning to think, and that of expressing them properly when obtained. There are those who profess to have been benefited by the assistance therein afforded. In this volume he has endeavored to embrace a wider range in the extensive field before him. He candidly confesses that he is not satisfied with his own labors. He would have been better contented to sce the task completed by abler hands. But as his labors have been found useful, he has been encouraged to extend them, in the hope that they will prove beneficial, especially to those who have neither the leisure nor the inclination to seek in the wide fields of literature for other and deeper sources of information. If the water in the bucket drawn from the well has not the coolness and raciness of the fountain, or the spring, it will quench the thirst and cool the brow of the toiler, in his laborious ascent of the hill of science.
With regard to the manner in which this volume is to be used, the author has only to say that he has not aimed at giving a regular and systematic course of instruction. Few teachers would probably follow any path that might be pointed out. It has not been his aim to present in this volume a progressive course. Leaving to the judgment of those who may use the book the task of selecting such exercises as may in their opinion best promote the intellectual advancement of those whose minds they are training, he respectfully submits the volume, in the hope that it may prove a useful auxiliary in the difficult but highly useful task of Compositition.
Orange Street, Boston, January 1st, 1844.