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INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AND EXERCISES.
LESSON 1. 1. COMPOSITION is the art of arranging and expressing our thoughts in the most natural and impressive manner. In this as in every other important art, much practice, careful observation, and a steady adherence to certain determinate principles (hereafter to be developed), are essential for acquiring ease, correctness, and proficiency. Acting under the guidance of these principles, every one possessed of good common sense may, by perseverance, not only acquire considerable facility in evolving his thoughts, but ability in appreciating those productions of taste and genius which may
lie beyond his own attainment. · The pupil is expected to be already conversant with the ordinary rules of English Grammar,
otherwise his progress will be materially retarded. Let attention, therefore, be paid in the first place, to his Grammar, and then he will be qualified to proceed, with advantage, to the study of Composition.
2. Before entering upon the special discussion of composition, it will be desirable to explain several terms of frequent occurrence, that the pupil, having a distinct conception of their import, may be enabled to apply them with just discrimination.
3. a. The term judgment has two principal acceptations ;1. As a faculty of the mind, judgment enables us to institute a comparison between two or more things, and determine whether they are like or unlike, equal or unequal, &c. 2. The result of this comparison, when expressed in words, is called a judgment; and, in this sense forms a sentence.
The grand constituent in the formation of a sound judgment is the predominant desire of truth totally independent of external influence, internal passion, or party prejudice.
6. Mr. Isaac Taylor, in his useful little work, entitled “Elements of Thought," enumerates several kinds or degrees of judgment, the principal
of which are the following:- The judgment is said to be calm, when it resists external influences; cool, when it is free from internal disturbance; acute, when it can complete a single process of thought by a vigorous but short effort : profound, when it can sustain a long-continued, though not, perhaps, rapid action, till it has completed its process of comparisons; comprehensive, when it suspends its decision till it has re-examined its previous comparisons and results, and viewed the subject in other and different lights.
. c. The distinctive difference between judgment and imagination may be thus explained ; — judgment is occupied in perceiving and comparing