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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857,

By A. S. BARNES & CO., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern

District of Now York.

R. C. VALENTINE, STEREOTYPER AND ELECTROTYPER, 81, 83, and 85 Centre-street,



No. 2 Dutch-st., N. Y.


The opportunities presented in this volume for the practice of all the characteristics of a good reader are many and important, and the selections themselves, made as they are from so great a number of authors whose works are well known and highly estimated, while they subserve the purpose for which they have been arranged, can not fail to inform the understanding, improve the taste, and cultivate the heart.

In Part First, the important principles of Orthoëpy and Elocution are comprehensively and systematically arranged, and accompanied by copious and lucid examples, illustrating their use and application.

In Part Second, while the exercises in reading have been graded in a systematic manner, presenting the simplest pieces first in order, it will also be found that a strict classification has been preserved with regard to the nature of the subjects. Many of the pieces have never before appeared in any reading-books; and, in most of those which are not entirely new, some new feature will be found to give freshness and peculiar adaptation.

It has been our especial aim, while introducing a great variety of the choicest literature of the English language into this work, to reject such pieces as, from the nature

of their subjects, would not be understood by the pupils for whom the book has been prepared.

Great pains have been taken to indicate the pronunciation of all words liable to be mispronounced, where they occur; and in notes, placed for convenience at the bottom of each page, will be found full explanations of difficult or uncommon words, not only by their appropriate synonyms, but, wherever necessary, by an extended paraphrase. Biographical sketches of noted persons whose names occur in the reading exercises, and explanations of classical allusions, are also given in the notes.

It remains to be stated, that, while this volume appears as a constituent member of a series, it bas been so arranged that it may be profitably used either in connection with the members of its own family, by itself, or with any other series of reading-books.

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