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The true dignity of man consists in the rectitude of his conduct, and the cultivation of his mind, and these are, in some degree, dependent on each other.
Right thinking will tend to promote right acting. By judicious management on the part of instructors, the young may be taught to think and to reason, at every step of their progress, and in every branch of their education. But it is obvious, that for this purpose some branches of education are better calculated than others; and perhaps it may be affirmed, that nothing more directly conduces to intellectual improvement, than an analysis of speech and the principles of thought. The mind, accustomed to this kind of investigation, acquires an
acuteness and a power of discrimination, which it readily applies to every subject; and when these are acquired, nothing that is interesting can be regarded with indifference. To produce, as far as possible, an effect so desirable on the minds of the young, has been the aim of the author in the following pages.
The work now submitted to the Public is not the result of untried speculation, but is an outline of a course of instruction, which the author has been accustomed to deliver to his pupils, with the greatest success.
For more than twenty-five years, he has been engaged in teaching the English language; and about sixteen years ago, having delivered lectures publicly, on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, he was led to perceive the importance of instructing the young of both sexes in the art of composition. Since that time, his attention has been chiefly directed to this object; but he soon discovered, that in teaching the young to compose, it was necessary also, to teach them to think; and consequently to make