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PHILLIP HOWARD FRERE, Esq. M.A.
FELLOW AND TUTOR OF DOWNING COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
MY DEAR FRERE,
Your prompt permission to allow this work to be inscribed to you is only one of the many kindnesses which you have shewn me.
The application of musical science to the English language has been so sngcessful in exposing the true foundations of its Rhythmus, as to originate the opinion, that music is destined to perform other and higher functions in our discourse.
We are yet ignorant of what the functions of music were in the Greek language; we, however, begin to perceive the truism, that Prosody
and Music are intimately connected, and thence the conclusion, that without musical aid all attempts to discover the ancient Greek Prosody must fail.
If you, my dear sir, possessed as you are of all the requisite knowledge, would turn your attention to the subject, there is a hope that you could restore that Prosody, and thus reanimate the dry bones of our Greek Scholarship.
MY DEAR FRERE,
Your sincere Friend,
14, CAROLINE STREET, BEDFORD SQUARE,
18th June, 1840.
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.
If it were asked what is the chief occupation of a Clergyman of the Church of England in his ministry, what would be the answer? It would be, to publicly read the Liturgy and those Services of the Church which are appointed for special occasions. Thus the Morning and Evening Common Prayer are ordered to be publicly read, after which a homily or sermon is to be publicly read; the special services are incessantly required to be publicly read, as the Baptismal, the Marriage, the Visitation of the Sick, the Burial, etc.; in short, the Clergyman's daily occupation is to publicly read the Services of the Church. It is a subject of deep regret that this prominent duty is commonly so ill performed, even by Clergymen of high mental endowments and of great acquirements, and the object of the present work is to supply the Clergy with some principles to guide them in their public reading.
In the last century bad public readers were commonly censured for misapprehension of their authors' meaning, it being at that period assumed that the qualification alone required to constitute a good public reader, was the apprehension of the author. It was observed, however, that all authors could not read with correctness even their own works, and they certainly could not be charged with a misapprehension of what they themselves had written; and the Clergy could not be charged with a misapprehension of the Common Prayer, and still less of their own sermons, whence it became evident that something beyond this one qualification was required to constitute a good public reader. Now observation has discovered other qualifications, both Mental and Vocal, to be necessary, and has also indicated the special education and training which is required to produce good public readers.
Although this is familiarly known to many who fully estimate the value of guiding principles in other occupations, yet, it is often thought that common sense is a sufficient guide in public reading. Now the’ term common sense, when thus placed in opposition to a system of principles and rules, if it mean anything, must mean