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FOR COMMON SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES
The following testimonials relating to the merits of the ELEMENTS OF RHETORIC AND LITERARY CRITI. CISM,” by J. R. Boyd, A.M., Principal of Black River L. and R. Institute, are from gentlemen long engaged in the business of instruction, or occupied in superintending the management of schools, and may therefore be relied upon as worthy of confidence.
The following notice is from T. ROMEYN Beck, LL.D., Principal of the Albany Academy, and from Prof. P. BULLIONS, D.D., connected with the same institution.
Albany, July 31, 1844. The Rev. James R. Boyd, Principal of the Literary and Scientific In stitute at Watertown, Jefferson county, has now for several years conductol that institution with ability and success. He has necessarily become acquainted with the numerous text-books in use, and it has occurred to him that an improvement might be made on those in common use for instructing in English Composition and Rhetoric. He has prepared a work from those of Reid and Connel, with numerous emendations and additions from his own pen, and we have no doubt, from a general examination of its contents, that it is deserving of publication, and that its introduction will prove useful both in academies and common schools. (Signed)
T. ROMEYN BECK,
Albany, August 2, 1844. Having examined the manuscript sheets of the Rev. Mr. Boyd's proposed publication on the “Elements of Rhetoric and Literary Criticism," I am free to express the high gratification it has afforded me, not only as a work admirably adapted to the purpose for which it seems specially to have been designed, a text-buok in rhetoric for the use of our common schools, but also as a valuable and tasteful compilation of specimens of the great masters both in prose and poetry, at home and abroad. As a text-book in our ele. mentary as well as higher institutions of public instruction, it is, in my iudgment, unsurpassed by any of its predecessors ; indeed, I am not aware of the existence of any elementary work upon the same plan; and I shall regard its publication at this time as a valuable contribution to the caube of popular education, no less than to the interests of a sound literary taste
(Signed) S. S. RANDALL, Dept. Supl. Com. Schools
The following, from the Ton. SAMUEL Young, Secretary of State, was roceived simultaneously with that from Prof. Beck and Bullions.
Albany, August 1, 1844. I have examined the plan of the work on Rhetoric mentioned within, but have not had time to read the body of the manuscript. A Treatise on Rhet. oric, simplifying its rules, and giving clear explanations and lucid examples, is very much needed for the young. If the plan of the work is judi ciously executed by the author (as, from his reputation for science, expo rience, and industry, is to be inferred), it will be a great acquisition to our schools. (Signed)
S. YOUNG. The following note, addressed to the Messrs. Harper of New-York, in from the pen of FRANCIS DWIGHT, Esq., Editor of the Common School Journal.
Albany, August 2, 1844. GENTLEMEN, I have given a cursory examination to Mr. Boyd's work on Rhetoric, and am much pleased with its plan and execution. Such a work is much nced od in our schools, and if can be afforded cheap, will probably obtain a large circulation. I commend it to your careful examination. (Signed) Truly yours,
FRANCIS DWIGHT. A still more particular account of this work, after a careful examination of it, has been furnished by practical teachers in the counties of Jefferson and Lewis.
The following is from LYSANDER H. BROWN, Esq., Superintendent al Common Schools in Jefferson county.
Watertown, July 31, 1844. I have examined in manuscript a work entitled “Elements of Rhetoric and Literary Criticism,” by J. R. Boyd. It is an admirable compilation, designed as a practical text-book on the science of composition. It is adapted to schools of every grade, the primary as well as the higher; and it aims to teach by example and illustration. The compiler has embraced in a plain, judicious arrangement, the whole method of expressing thoughts by means of the pen, exhibiting rules applicable to the entire subject, from the bigher qualities of sublimity, beauty, and taste, down to the correct spelling of words, the proper distribution of pauses and of capital letters, and the construction of sentences and paragraphs.
The beauty of the book is that it is eminently practical. Every rule is familiarly illustrated. Beautiful examples light every page. The extracts, with which the compilation abounds, are from the best specimens in the language, useful, entertaining, and practical. They would, of themselves, furnish the scholar with a key to all the higher qualities of English cour position. From a long and intimate acguaintance with the wants of our schools, I am impressed with the belief that they need nothing more than just such a book as that with which Mr. Boyd designs to present ihem. There is no reason why children should not be taught to express their thoughts upon paper with as much ease, and beauty, and force, as they do with the or gans of speech.
I would most cheerfully recommend the work to teachers, and all others interested in the welfare of schools, as one eniinently adapted to secure the end designed, that of forming habits of writing with ease, correctness, and facility. Let this book be introduced into our Common Schools," and we shall soon see less of awkward letter-writing and illegible composition in our men of business, and even in our public officers.
(Signed) LYSANDER H. BROWN, Supt. Com Schools Jefferson Co
Tle next review of the proposed work is from the pen of D. P. MAYHEW, Esq., Principal of Lowville Academy, in Lewis county.
Lowville Academy, July 5, 1844. In the work now given us by Mr. Boyd, every teacher will find an efficient aid; for any one who has taught rhetoric must have noticed in the nar row abridgments, or too voluminous original treatises, a want of adaptation to the capacity of those who should pursue this study. Acquisition of rhetorical principles naturally follows the study of English grammar, since the student is supposed to be then constantly engaged in composition Exercises,” and in as great need, therefore, of those principles as those of grammar; but, instead of their being thus furnished him by the text-books in ose, either he must wait until, when disciplined by other studies, he is adapted to the study of rhetoric, or a laborious and toilsome task is imposed upon the teacher in adapting the study of rhetoric to him. Mr. Boyd not only frees us from such a dilemma, but, by combining “ progressive" composition exercises with the principles of rhetoric, enables the student to redao theory to immediate practice. Mr. B. has so arranged his Exercises as to fix the attention, and by degrees insensibly to make the scholar an analyst. But, besides this effect, the illustrations are so selected as to fortify the af fections and improve the heart.
Nor is this all : love of country is incidentally inculcated ; that strongest love, based upon respect for what that country has produced, and can produce. We are taunted with having no literature of our own; but the American student will find a full refutation of that slander in Mr. Boyd's account of American writers, and his judicious selections from both their poetry and prose. Teachers and students will bid it welcome. (Signed)
D. P. MAYHEW, Principal
Of the same purport is the communication of another practical teacher, ALANSON P. SIGOURNEY, Esq., Supt. of Common Schools for Watertown
Watertown, July 29, 1844. SIR, Having examined in manuscript a work entitled “Elements of Rhetorio and Literary Criticism for the use of Common Schools and Academies," written and selected from the pens of the most able writers of the age, by yourself, I can say I am well pleased with it. It is a work that should be used by every teacher of youth, and by every pupil studying the gram mar of the English language.
Your work I believe to be well calculated to aid the pupil in communicating his own thoughts either orally or on paper, and may and should be used, not only as a class-book for recitation, but for reading exercises ; and I am satisfied that the interests of our public schools require its introduction. I
erefore recommend it to the favorable consideration of teachers, and particularly to those engaged in elevating the standard of common schools (Signed) Yours respectfully, ALANSON P. SIGO'RNEY,
Supt. Com. Schools for Watertown To Rev. J. R. Boyd, Prin. Black River L. and R. Institute.
The trustees of Black River L. and R. Institute, at their meeting July 16, 1844, passed the following resolution:
“Resolved, that from our knowledge of the qualifications of the author, and the statement of his plan submitted to us, we judge the publication of whe Rev. Mr. Boyd's work on Rhetoric, and its introduction into this instiution, highly desirable."
I. BRAYTON, Secretary of the Board of Trustest
Extracts from a communication by P. MONTGOMERY, Esq., County Su perintendent of Common Schools for Southern Section of Jefferson.
Adams, July 27, 1844. For a long time I have noticed with regret the almost entire neglect of the art of original composition in our common schools, and the want of proper text-book upon this essential branch of education.
Hundreds graduate from our common schools with no well-defined ideas of the construction of our language. I have just arisen from an examination of a work prepared by Mr. Boyd, Principal of the Black River L. and R. Institute. We are happy to find that a gentleman of Mr. Boyd's character as a scholar and experience in teaching has taken this unoccupied field, and has succeeded in preparing a work to meet the wants of our schools. This work must take the field without competition. It leads thre pupil gradually from the incipient steps in original composition up to a nat. ural and easy expression of thought in all the varied style of which our Language is capable. It may be used as a spelling, reading, and parsing book ; it is what our common schools need. We cheerfully commend the work to the confidence and patronage of the friends of education. (Signed)
P. MONTGOMERY, County Supt. Com. Schools, Southern Seclion, Jefferson.
From Professor EDWARD North, of Hamilton College.
Hamilton College, Nov. 27, 1844. Mr. Boyd's “Treatise on Rhetoric and Literary Criticism" is intended to supply a want which has long been felt by those having charge of com mon schools and academies. The author has brought to his task a full knowledge of what was needed in this department, as well as an unusual amount of experience and practical skill in the processes of elementary in struction. The valuable results of his labors will be welcomed by all w bo have at heart the improvement of our common schools and academies. (Signed)
From the Biblical Repository and Classical Review, January, 1845. We have been much pleased with a cursory inspection of this little vol ume.
It seems to us to meet a want which has been felt in the commota schools and higher schools of both sexes. It is eminently practical in its method, illustrating every principle by an abundance of examples, and taking the juvenile scholar, as soon as he begins to write at all, and teacb. ing him, in the best way, how to think, speak, and compose correctly.
It is a text-book, “compiled and arranged” by the author with great judgment and practical tact.
From the New-York Evangelist, Nov. 21, 1844. Though brief and concise, this is a very complete and comprehensive work. It is designed for schools, and begins with the elementary principles of language and composition. It surveys the whole field of Rhetoric, and is sound in the principles it advances, and judicious and skillful in their application.
For the ordinary uses of education, we think it not only sale and excellent, but by far the clearest, most reasonable, and comprehensive work of the kind in market. The examples by which the several positions are suscained are chosen with genuine taste, and there are evidences un almost uvery page that the author is a full and well-read scholar.
We trust that it will be made a text-book of th.s greatly needed, bai much neglected study.
From the New York Baptist Register, Nov. 22, 1844. This is one of the most valuable school books we have had put into on pands in many a day. It is from the press of the Harpers, from which many important works are issued, but rarely have they published one of squal advantage to the rising generation.
The object of the author is to train the young mind to think. Every charher shows this, and requires thorough study to be advantageously mastered, out when acquired, it will be seen that the pupil has made substantial progress. We believe, with the author, that there is a great mistake in devoting so much attention to reading and speaking, and so small a portion & time in teaching the art of correctly writing the language.
From the Roman Citizen, Dec. 3, 1844. This valuable treatise has been compiled under the pressure of an evil which has hitherto greatly impaired the completeness of the usual course of instruction in our common schools and academies. Hitherto there has been no elementary work in use, of the right stamp, on the science and history of the English language and literature, and the youth of our elementary schools have been left, in quite too many cases, to grow up without any true and available knowledge of the correct use of their mother tongue.
Mr. Boyd, who has for many years had charge of one of the best academies in this state, perceived the sad effects of this deficiency, and has had the skill to work out a remedy. Commencing with the rudiments of language, his plan is, to lead the pupil on from one step to a higher, and to furnish him with familiar illustrations of every principle inculcated, until he has so mastered the rules of the most elevated composition.
We hope to see Mr. Boyd's treatise generally used in our common schools and academies.
From the Oswego Daily Advertiser, May 2, 1845. Mr. EDITOR: During the session of the Teacher's Association in Oswego, I took ocet son to speak before them in behalf of Rev. Mr. Boyd's work on Rhetorie and Literary Criticism. They unanimously passed a resolution expressive of the opinion that the science and art of communicating thoughts on paper should be taught in our common schools. Indeed, if it be not, many pars through life without the ability even of writing a letter correctly, much less elegantly ; and that, too, for the plain reason, that comparatively few have an opportunity to attend the higher institutions of learning.
Mr. Boyd's motto in preparing his book must have been multum in parvo, for it comprises much valuable matter in a small space ; in other words, it concentrates the lights of many highly gifted minds upon the subject of which it treats. I have never seen a book which, in my judgment, is so well adapted to the great purposes of teaching composition and rhetoric in schools of every grade, as this new and most excellent publication. I have no possible pecuniary interest in the sale of the work, but my decided conviction of its merits prompts me to recommend it to the examination of teachers, parents, and all who feel an interest in promoting the noble and blessed career of popular education.
SAMUEL N. SWEET, Author of “ Sweet's Elocution."
From the Jeffersonian, Nov. 26, 1844. Wo have devoted do inconsiderable space to a critical notice of “Boyd's Rhetoric," and we wish that we could convince our readers that she sub