This art is one of the most pleas-ing in domestic or civilized life ; yet - there are few, comparatively speaking, who possess, or endeavour to acquire it, so as to be enabled to read fluently; and, by placing the emphasis as well as the accents on proper words, to con-vey the full meaning of an author to the hearer. Hence they become frequently indistinct, and some tirnes unintelligible.
It would exceed our limits, to point out the faults or imperfections that prevail in the general method, of reading, both at home and in the pulpit; yet we deem it our duty to observe, that the prin-cipal indistinctness arises from too great precipitation of speech, which is acquired by a vitiated mode of teaching or communicating this art to children. The first object of British school-masters should be, to render their pupils familiarly acquainted with written language, so that they may be enabled to pronounce the printed text of books with the greater facility. Thus, juvenile scholars would not be induced to imagine that, in proportion as they advance in the ready articulation of syllables and words, the true excellence, or beauty of reading, consists wholly in the rapidity with which they are enabled to utter sounds, and to imitate the mechanism of language. Such de-fect may, however, be rectified, or avoided, by allotting certain hours for reading aloud, in a slow and distinct manner, and in the presence of a person, who is competent to point out errors, or to remind the reader, in case he should relapse into his former volubility.
There are numerous precepts that relate to this useful art; but we cannot specify and illustrate them, here, by proper examples. Those of our readers, who are studious of improvement, will meet with excellent instructions in Mr. Sheridan's Lectures on Elocution, (8vo. 7s.) ; and especially in Mr. Walker's Elements of Elocution, (2 vols. 8vo. 12s.) ; in which proper rules are given, in clear and perspicuous language, and enforced by extracts from the best English writers.