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Lectures at this time is, for the sake of the young nobleman to whom they are dedicated, to whose improvement my best services are, on many accounts, due.

Considering the nature of the work, it will not be expected, by the candid and judicious, that every thing in it should be original. It is, on the contrary, the business of a Lecturer, to bring into an easy and comprehensive view whatever has been observed by others; and in this respect I hope it will be thought that I have not acquitted myself ill; few works of criticism, of cf any value, having escaped my attention, at the time that I was engaged in those ftudies. But I own, that of the later publications of this kind I can give less account than might have been wished; having been generally engaged in pursuits of a different nature. But, notwithstanding there may be some things in common between this work and other publications of the kind, it is probable that many of the observations will be peculiar to myself, because ny generaltheory of human nature is very much. so.

. I have shewn myself willing to contribute what I may be able to the illustration of my subject. If my endeavours have been attended with success, the friends of literą. ture will not be difpicard; and if, in their


opinion, I have contributed nothing to the common stock of useful observations, this work, they will conclude, will not stand long in the way of better.

The most considerable work on the subject of criticism, that was extant at the time of my composing these Lectures, was that of Lord Kaims, to whoin I am indebted for a very great number of my examples, especially those from the dramatic writers, and sometimes for the observations too; but with respect to this subject, on which so many able men have written, it is hardly possible to say to whom we are ultimately obliged for any very valuable remark.

Several of the examples in the first part of this work are borrowed from Dr.Ward's Oratory, and some from other works of the same nature; but many of the instances are of my own collecting. I would have been more particular in making my acknowledgments, if I had been better able to recollect them, and had thought it at all necessary. Let my reader consider this work as a fuc

a cinct and systematical view of the observations of others, interspersed with original ones of my own; and he will not, I hope,

I think that the perusal of it has been time ill-bestowed.

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A considerable part of what I had composed for the use of my pupils in the first part of this work, which is, in its own nature, more trite than the rest, I have here omitted; retaining only as much as was necessary to preserve the appearance of an uniform system in the whole, and those parts which were the most original.

The last part of the work, relating to elocution, I never composed, though I should have done it, if I had continued longer in that employment. The reason of this omifsion was, that it was my custom (as I believe it is still that of my successors in that department of the academy, and it is certainly a most useful one) to have lectures appropriated solely to the business of elocution, which all the students who were designed for public speakers constantly attended, at least once a week. At these lectures great pains were taken to form the pupils to a habit of just and graceful delivery; and the instructions were given as occasion required; so that the reducing of them to writing was by no means necessary.

It may be thought by fome, that these lectures are much too short, and too concisely written, for the purpose of public instruction : but they should be apprized,


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that it was my custom to write down only the outlines of what I delivered in the class; that, for the benefit of my pupils, I used to attend them provided with more copious illustrations, and a greater variety of examples; and, besides, always spent a confiderable part of the time appropriated to every lecture in examining them on the subject of the preceding lecture, hearing their remarks or objections, and explaining more distinctly what they appeared not to have clearly understood.

Upon this plan (which I found by experience to be a very useful one, and which I mention so particularly here, with a view to recommend it to other tutors) it was not necessary for me to write out more than a short, though connected text, from which to discourse extempore; a method which engages the attention unspeakably more than formally reading every thing from notes. It was my custom also to leave a fair copy of what I wrote in the lecture-room, that the pupils might have recourse to it, and study it at their leisure, so as to be better prepared for examination at the ensuing lecture. What I now publish is the text above-mentioned, with some improvements which have since occurred to me.


The same method I took with respect to every other subject on which I gave lectures; with this difference, that those on the Theory of Languages and Universal Grammar were printed for the use of the pupils. This work I have promised, in the preface to my English Grammar, to revise, and publish at my leisure; and if these should have the good fortune to give satisfaction, I may, in due time, proceed to publish another Course of lectures, viz. on the Study of History and General Policy; which, indeed, I have promised to publish, in the preface to my Elay on the first Principles of Government.

The public may be assured, that, as I have not hitherto, I shall not in future, obtrude upon them any work, that shall not appear to myself, however mistaken I may be in my judgment, both considerably original and useful

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