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the bent of future conduct, cannot be estimated. It is no improbable chimera, that many of those, who have become illustrious models for others to imitate, owe that distinction, in part, to the generous emotions excited in youth by the perusal of some memorable action congenial to the turn of their disposition. The promotion of so laudable an end, may be deemed a sufficient apology for the following collection; but the author presumes that a skilful teacher will also find it adapted to the instruction of children in several other things, which, though of less importance, are still essentially necessary.
Each dialogue will furnish an opportunity of advancing the pupils in the knowledge of history, by requiring them to learn, as a task, not only the age, nation, and country, in which the circumstance forming the story of the piece happened, but also the chain of events with which it is connected, either as giving rise to, or following
it as its consequence.
The form of conversation,
supported by several persons, is particularly well calculated for the exercise of reading aloud, as it supplies frequent occasions of acquiring the various inflexions of voice, necessary to express the different emotions of the speakers; an art, which may be said to constitute the principal excellence of a reader; for an automaton may be constructed to repeat the words and mark the pauses of mere narrative. These dialogues may be rendered useful in schools, as an assistance to the children, in gaining a habit of speaking with clearness and energy, by allowing them to be read as lessons, in companies of as many as are required to fill the characters. likely that their attention will be fixed to the book, by the interest of the story, and that a proper spirit of emulation will animate the readers to support their respective parts, with the same propriety as their associates. Exclusive of every other pretension, it lays claim to that, of offering
at least an innocent amusement to the juvenile class of readers; to many of whom the subjects of which it treats may have the charm of novelty, or, if known, may be rendered productive of more entertainment, from the peculiar manner of their representation. To blend instruction with pleasure has been the object of the work; how far this end is attained in its execution, must be left to the judgment of the public; but if the author may be allowed to flatter herself with having succeeded in her design, by the encouragement given to the former editions, she has great reason for being satisfied with her attempt.