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DISTRICT OF MAINE, ss.
May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred L. S. and twenty-seven, and the fifty first year of the Indepen
dence of the United States of America, SAMUEL P. Newman, of the said District, has deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as aulhor, in the words following, lu ail:
"A Practical System of Rhetoric ; or the Principles and Rules of Style: inferred from Examples of Writing. By Samuel P. New. man, Professor of Rhetoric in Bowdoin College."
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;" and also to an act, entitled "An act, supplementary to an act, 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 inen. Moned; and extending the benefits ihereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical, and other prints."
JOHN MUSSEY, Clerk of the District Court of Maine.
The complaint is often heard, that the study of Rhetoric is of little practical advantage. Many who have learned its rules, do not become good writers, or good critics; and of those who are able to write well, and to judge correctly of the merits of literary productions, few acknowledge, that they have derived much assistance from the study of this art.
The experience of the author of the following pages, as an instructer, has satisfied him, that there is ground for this complaint. The advantages derived from the study of this branch of education, are not such as should be derived from it. It does not offer that exercise and improvement to the intellectual powers, which it should offer, It does not give that assistance towards forming a good style, which it ought to afford. And it is believed, that these effects have arisen in part from the manner in which it is studied.
The instructions of Rhetoric are twofold ;—those which point out the excellencies of style, and those which give cautions against its most frequent faults. In either case, the reason of what is said should be seen, and its
justness felt and acknowledged by the pupil. This can be effected only by the exhibition of these excellencies and defects, as they are found in the productions of writers. · Hence then the best mode of acquiring a knowledge of the principles and rules of Rhetoric, is by the study of different styles.
But it is nesessary that there be some system of study, —that there be some order in directing the attention to the most prominent excellencies of style and its most common faults. At the same time, it requires a degree of investigation which every instructer cannot give to the subject, to discover the reasons of the approbation and censure which are bestowed.
The following work has been prepared, that it may offer a regular system of study, and at the same time furnish such explanations and reasons of the rules of the art as are needed. It will not effect its purpose, unless in connexion with its study the attention of students be directed to examples. They should also be frequently required to write criticisms, that may lead them to apply the principles and rules which are stated.
The sale of a large edition of the following work in less than eighteen months from its publication, and the testimony borne to its utility, by many instructers, who have adopted it as a text book, have led to the publication of a second edition. By increasing the amount on a page, and also the number of pages, the work has been considerably enlarged, and it is hoped improved. The exercises for the study of style which have been added, will, it is thought, be regarded as highly important.
It has been the object of the writer, to direct the attention to those rules and principles which are of most practical advantage—to make the reason of every prin