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IN forming the following compilation, the object has been, to furnish a copious collection of pieces of suitable character for exercises in declamation, and, at the same time, of convenient brevity for that purpose.-In doing which, it has been necessary to enter a wide field of research, but to gather with a sparing hand; for, short specimens of eloquence, which would not subject the speaker to the appearance of abruptness, are by no means abundant.
We well know how great is the influence of school exercises in the formation of young minds; and, perhaps, in no department of education does that influence operate with more force, than through the medium of exercises for recitation. The youthful speaker (if he feel at all) must feel like, and, for the time at least, become the character he attempts to personate.--In this view of their importance, each extract has been the subject of inquiries like the following: -Has the piece force and spirit? Is its moral tendency unquestionable?
Does it convey a complete sense, intelligible to an audience without the aid of title or note? Is the style in pure and good taste? Is it, in fine, of such a character, that a youth may enter fully into it?-Such pieces, and such only as in the opinion of the editor, possess these requisite qualities, are admitted into this work; and these without regard to the circumstance of their being introduced into prior compilations. So that, while the reader will find most of this collection to consist of new extracts, he will not be surprised, (after this explanation) if he find some, whose merit has recommended them to the notice of former Compilers.
B. D. E.
The rapid sale of the first edition of the Academical Speaker has induced the publishers to issue a stereotype edition of the work. In the meantime, it has been carefully revised and enlarged. Having thus received a permanent form, it will undergo no further change; in order that those teachers, who use it as a reading Class Book, may not hereafter be incommoded, by a diversified arrangement in succeeding editions.
Speech in the Legislature of Virginia
Injudicious use of Military Power
Severity to the suffering Poor unwise and unjust
The Preservation of the Church
Extract from a Speech of Lord Belhaven
Extract from a Speech of Æschines
Speech of Eprius Marcellus against Thrasea
Freedom of the ancient Israelites
Surviving Wortbies of the Revolution
Speech in the Convention of Virginia •
Homage paid by Philosophy to Theology
Address to the British Colonists 1767
Character and Fate of the American Indians
The world purified by Judgments
Extract from a speech of G. Morris
Extract from Mr. Jeffrey's Speech
Extract from Mr. Hayne's Speech in Congress 1830
Extract from Mr. Webster's speech in Congress 1830
Bonaparte to the Army of Italy
Speech of Vindex against the tyrant, Nero
Speech in the National Convention of France
Pitt on American Affairs in 1777
Mr. Hobhouse's castigation of the member from Orford
Extract from a Speech of Theophilus Parsons
Necessity of National Morality
General Washington to his Troops
Mr. Grattan’s Reply-to Mr. Corry
Extract from “ Letters to Fabius"
Supposed Speech of John Adams in opposition to the Declaration
Supposed Speech of John Adams in favour of the Declaration of
Extract from the Address of the American Congress to the
Inhabitants of Great Britain, 1775