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meaning. Thus, if I say—“I must send James on an errand immediately, can you ride to town with him to-day?” there is no doubt that my intention is to ask—" Are you able, or have you leisure to ride to town with him to-day ?" but if I take the inquiry in a separate or isolated sense, irrespective of the context, I may use it with any of the following significations :1. Can
ride to town with him to-day ? that is, are you able to do so ? 2. Can
you ride to town with him to-day? or, shall some one else?
3. Can you ride to town with him to-day? or, will you
walk ? 4. Can you ride to town with him to-day? or, are you going into the country? 5. Can
you ride to town with him to-day? with some one else? or alone?
6. Can you ride to town with him to-day? that is, after what has occurred ?
7. Can you ride to town with him to-day? or, tomorrow?
And a still greater variety may be obtained by combining the words, as in No. 6, and emphasizing the prepositions.
EXAMPLES. Let the pupils write out the following sentences in all the varieties of signification of which they are capable, as above; connecting them with any imaginary context to fix their meaning :
1. I will send him.
4. How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
V.-Variations of the Voice natural in Reading. Every person is aware that the voice is capable of great variations; and that very different tones are used to express gratitude for kindness,-entreaty for forbearance,-displeasure at untruth,-indignation at insult,—endearance to parents, &c.
To teach a youth to read well, it is necessary, as a preliminary step, to point out to him that nature itself requires these variations; and that he cannot read naturally, unless the variations of his voice accord with the subject.
The following passages so evidently require to be read in different tones and modulations of voice, that the teacher will have no difficulty in explaining to the pupils reading them, the importance of the remarks
EXAMPLES. [Each subject to be read throughout by one of the advanced pupils selected for the purpose. ]
1. Simplicity and Sensitiveness.
(To be read feelingly.) “What makes you sad, Eva ? My dear child, you are too sensitive.”
Papa, is there no way to have all slaves made free?" “ That's a difficult question, dearest. I heartily wish that there was not a slave in the land, but then I don't know what is to be done about it."
Papa, you are such a good man, and so noble, and kind, and you always have a way of saying things that is so pleasant; couldn't you go all round and try to persuade people to do right about this? When I am
you will think of me, and do it for my sake. I would do it if I could.”
“When you are dead, Eva !” said St. Clare. child, don't talk to me so ! you are all I have on earth.'
2. Civil Liberty.
(To be read deliberately.) To do what we will, is natural liberty : to do what we will, consistently with the interest of the community to which we belong, is civil liberty,—that is to say, the only liberty to be desired in a state of civil society.
The boasted liberty of a state of nature exists only in a state of solitude. In every kind and 'degree of union and intercourse with his species, it is possible that the liberty of the individual may be augmented by the very
laws which restrain it; because he may gain more from the limitation of other men's freedom, than he suffers by the diminution of his own. Natural liberty is the right of a common upon a waste ; civil liberty is the safe, exclusive, unmolested enjoyment of a cultivated enclosure.- Paley.
3. Against Idleness and Mischief.
Improve each shining hour,
From every opening flow'r !
How neat she spreads her wax!
With the sweet food she makes.
I would be busy too;
(To be read facetiously.) The young lady had spent five or six months at a boarding school in town, where she learned to work
pictures in satin, and paint sheep that might be mistaken for wolves ;—to hold up her head, sit straight in her chair, and to think every species of useful acquirement beneath her attention. When she returned home, so completely had she forgotten everything she knew before, that on seeing one of the maids milking a cow, she asked her father, with an air of most enchanting ignorance, “what that odd-looking thing was doing with that queer animal?" The old man shook his head at this; but the mother was delighted at these symptoms of gentility ; and so enamoured at her daughter's accomplishments, that she actually got framed a picture worked in satin by the young lady. It represented the tomb of Romeo and Juliet: Romeo was dressed in an orange-coloured cloak; the amiable Juliet shone in a flame-coloured gown; the head of the “noble county Paris " looked like a chimney-sweep's brush that had lost its handle ; and the cloak of the good friar hung about him as gracefully as the armour of a rhinoceros.—Washington Irving.
VI.-Punctuation. Stops are generally introduced to express the author's intention in relation to the precise and grammatical meaning of his writing;
But in reading, which conveys the sense by intonation of voice, and not by grammatical symbols, it is frequently necessary to disregard the stops, which the author has introduced, and substitute pauses where stops would be wholly improper.
It is useful, however, in reading, for the eye readily to perceive the different kinds of stops, as generally affording facilities for drawing the breath. The period or full stop must always be observed.
The subjoined exercises will assist the pupil in marking the difference of stops; but are not intended as prescribing pauses to be observed in practice.
Let the pupil, as he reads the following passages, pause at every stop, mentioning the name, and counting at a comma (,), one; a semicolon (;), two; a colon (:), three; and a full stop, four.
PRACTICE.* 1. One of the final causes of our delight in anything that is great may be this: the supreme Author of our being has so formed the soul of man, that nothing but Himself can be its last, adequate, and proper happiness.
2. The following sentences appear to furnish a beautiful exemplification of antithesis properly employed :
Religion embraces virtue, as it is enjoined by the laws of God; honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The religious man fears, the man of honour scorns, to do an ill action. The latter considers vice as something that is beneath him; the other, as something that is offensive to the divine Being ;-the one, as what is unbecoming; the other, as what is forbidden
3. Mr. Addison observes—“I have known a hero compared to a thunderbolt, a lion, and the sea; all of them proper metaphors for impetuosity, courage, and force : but, by bad management, it has happened that the thunderbolt has overflowed its banks, the lion has been darted through the skies, and the billows have rolled out of the Lybian desert.”
Note.-Other examples may be selected from any reading-book; the pupils counting the numbers of the several stops, first aloud, and afterwards mentally.
VII.-Sustentation of the Voice. A great defect in reading, and, unfortunately, a very common one, is dropping the voice at the end of a
Examples headed “Practice," are not to be read by the pupils simultaneously, but individually only.