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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.

October, 1830.


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.

Extract from Mr. Jeffrey's Speech


Extract from Mr. Hayne's Speech in Congress 1830


Extract from Mr. Webster's speech in Congress 1830


Conclusion of the same Speech


Fox on American Affairs


Bonaparte to the Army of Italy


Character of Michael Angelo

Fuseli. 89

National Glory

Clay. 99

Speech of Vindex against the tyrant, Nero

Tacitus. 100

Salathiel to Titus

Croly. 101

Character of William Penn

Duponceau. 102

Speech of Ringan Gilhaize

Galt. 103

Speech in the National Convention of France

Mirabeau. 108

The same continued

Ibid. 109

The same concluded

Ibid. 110

Pitt on American Affairs in 1777

- 111

Characteristics of Eloquence

N. A. Review. 116

The same subject continued

Ibid. 117

The same subject concluded

Ibid. 118

Mr. Hobhouse's castigation of the member from Orford


Extract from a Speech of Theophilus Parsons


Necessity of National Morality

Beecher. 129

Speech of a Christian Martyr

Croly. 130

General Washington to his Troops


Mr. Grattan’s Reply-to Mr. Corry


Extract from “ Letters to Fabius"

Dickinson. 134

Speech of the Duke of Argyle


The final Triumph of Liberty

N. A. Review. 142

Education of the Poor

Smith. 143

On Invasion

Ibid. 144

The same subject

Ibid. 145

The same subject -

Ibid. 146

Supposed Speech of John Adams in opposition to the Declaration

of Independence

Webster. 147

Supposed Speech of John Adams in favour of the Declaration of


Ibid. 148

Moral Effects of Intemperance

Beecher. 154

The Right of Free Discussion

Webster. 154

Extract from the Address of the American Congress to the

Inhabitants of Great Britain, 1775


Second Extract from the same


Sublimity of Mountain Scenery

Croly. 164

Political Cupidity reproved

Sheridan. 164

Republican Equality

Story. 166

Character of Blannerhassett

Wirt. 167

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