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A BRIEF outline of the principal part of the following Work was sketched out several years ago for the private use of some young friends; and from that MS. chiefly, the Article “Rhetoric” in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana was afterwards drawn up. I was induced to believe that it might be more useful if published in a separate form; and I accordingly, with the assistance of some friends, revised the treatise, and made a few additions and other alterations which suggested themselves; besides dividing it in a manner more convenient for reference.
The title of “ Rhetoric," I thought it best on the whole to retain, being that by which the Article in the Encyclopædia is designated; as I was unwilling to lay myself open to the suspicion of wishing to pass off as new, on the strength of a new name, what had been already before the Public. But the title is in some respects open to objection. Besides that it is rather the more commonly employed in reference to public Speaking alone, it is also apt to suggest to many minds an associated idea of empty declamation, or of dishonest artifice; or at best, of a mere dissertation on Tropes and Figures of speech.