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ALEXANDER BAIN, M. A.,
PROFESSOR OF LOGIC IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN.
AMERICAN EDITION, REVISED.
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET.
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
D. APPLETON & CO.,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for tho Southern District of New York.
NUMEROUS attempts have been made, and are still making, to methodize instruction in English Composition. In these attempts, two distinct efforts are made for the benefit of the pupils; to cultivate in them a copious fund of expression, and to render more delicate their discrimination of good and ill effects.
As regards increasing the pupils' fund of expression, the English teacher can do comparatively little. The reason is obvious. The command of language is a grand total, resulting from the practice of a life; a small fraction of that total is all that can grow up within the limits of a Course of English Composition.
With respect to the other aim-the discrimination between good and bad in expression-the case is different. Much of the necessary instruction can be condensed into principles, and may be impressed by carefully chosen examples. The teacher is here a trainer, and can impart in a short compass, what, without him, would be acquired slowly, if at all. It is this, accordingly, that I account his principal vocation.