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GRAMMAR OF COMPOSITION:
A PRACTICAL REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF RHETORIC,
À SERIES OF EXERCISES
SIX INTRODUCTORY COURSES
All that regards the study of composition, merits the highest at-
tention on this account, that it is intimately connected with
A. H. MALTBY AND CO. PRINT.
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss.
Be it remembered, That on the twenty-ninth day of April, in the forty-second year of the Independence of the United States of America, WM. RUSSELL of said District, hath deposited in this Office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following-to wit: “A Grammar of Composition: including a Practical Review of the Principles of Rhetoric, a series of Exercises in Rhetorical Analysis, and six Introductory Courses of Composition." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the UNITED STATES, entitled “An Act 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 therein mentioned." CHAS. A. INGERSOLL,
Clerk of the District of Connecticut.
COMPOSITION, it is often remarked, too seldom receives that place in education, which its importance requires. The practical value of this branch, seems to entitle it to rank high among useful, as well as elegant acquirements. A reflecting mind, cannot but observe, that the art of expressing our thoughts, is an attainment, which literature, and science, and business, render highly important; and that it is, in itself, a source of much improvement, and of much refined gratification.
In this view of the subject, the question naturally arisesWhy is it, that science and the languages are thought to require years of laborious application, whilst composition, to which science is indebted for the diffusion of all its truths, and from which ancient literature derives almost all its real use, is in a great measure abandoned to unassisted or ill-directed efforts, and occasional practice?
It is not asserting too much, to say, that in most preparatory courses of instruction, this useful department of literary accomplishment, is almost entirely overlooked. The consequence of this neglect is, that most young men, even on entering college, are very deficient both in the principles and the practice of composition ; and begin the study of rhetorie, with minds barely capable of embracing the rudiments
of that art, instead of its higher departments. The professor, instead of being employed on the superstructure, is obliged to labor at the foundation. The student is often embarrassed or discouraged by the difficulties of his progress, and, after all, proceeds under every disadvantage arising from the want of an early and practical knowledge of first. principles.
Neither the size nor the design of an elementary volume, will admit a full statement of the reasons why this branch of education should be more distinctly and closely attended to, than it has generally been ; for the mental advantages resulting from the study and practice of composition, are not confined to the single subject which it professes to embrace. The methodical exercises of intellect, which are re. quisite in composing, produce a clearness, a precision, andan energy of thought, in every department of study and of business. The mind which is trained to perspicuous and forcible expression, receives the power of earnest, undivided attention, and methodical arrangement. The intellectual halits which are thus fornred, are such as are useful in every profession and pursuit.
This department of literature, were a more correct idea formed of its value, would certainly be thought deserving of a separate and fixed assignment in the estimate of education; and it is greatly to be desired, that such a result should become general. Individuals who have influence in the regulation of academies, might do much for the promotion of this: branch of study, by adding it to the course of English literature: colleges might do more, by raising the standard of preparatory qualification in this and its collateral branches. Were such an arrangement made, we might expect to see more practical good flowing from a liberal education. The youth who is now so much neglected or cramped in his efforts, might obtain the conscious satisfaction of expanded