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THE

THEORY AND PRACTICE

COMPOSITION;

FOR SCHOOLS AND PRIVATE STUDENTS:

IN FOUR PARTS.

BY WILLIAM HUNTER, LL.D.

RECTOR OF AYR ACADEMY,

LONDON:
JAMES SANGSTER AND Co.,

36, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH: J. MENZIES.

PREFACE.

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SEVERAL years' experience in teaching has convinced the author of the following pages, that a work similar to that which he has here attempted to produce is a desideratum. Not only the educators of youth, but even young persons themselves, whose period of scholastic training may have been unusually brief or unimproved, have often been heard to express a strong wish that they could meet with a compendious publication which should, in a popular manner, supply them with sound instruction in the science of grammar, and at the same time initiate them into the art of English Composition. With a view of meeting this deeply and extensively felt want, the present work has been prepared. A mastery of our vernacular tongue, so as to be able to employ it with propriety and elegance in commercial transactions, in private epistolary correspondence, or even in literary pursuits, is becoming every day of increasing importance to our rising youth of both sexes. And it is to be regretted, that the ordinary mode of teaching English Grammar and Composition lamentably fails, either to make the pupil acquainted with the

import of assertions expressed in our own language, or to prepare him adequately for entering intelligently upon the study of any foreign tongue. It has been the aim of the writer to accomplish both these important objects : how far he has succeeded, must be left for those who may adopt the work to determine.

For convenience, the matters treated in the volume have been distributed under four general divisions. The first part is designed to enable the pupil to select instances, and to invent examples, illustrating the Nature and Use of Words and Propositions. The second part consists of the Nature and Use of Phrases and Sentences. The third embraces the Nature and Use of Arguments, and of Conviction and Persuasion. And the last treats of the Nature and Use of Perspicuity, Energy, and Elegance, with the different kinds of Composition required in the daily intercourse and business of life. It will be a subject of sincere gratulation to the author to know that the publication has, in any humble degree, accomplished the end proposed—the promotion of one important branch of education.

AYR ACADEMY, Dec. 1857.

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