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Reading and Speaking


Professor of Public Speaking in the University of Texas and

Director of the Department of Extension
Compiler of "Winning Declamations-How to Speak Them"


31 West 15th Street

New York City




The selections of prose and poetry contained in this volume are intended primarily for use as readings and declamations by the children in our schools. They have been gathered at a time when the world was at war. They often speak of war, but still oftener of love of country. They will therefore not only serve to-day as an incentive to patriotism for a brotherhood of arms, but also to-morrow for the brotherhood of peace that must issue from the great World War.

The educational influence of public speech was never more obvious and insistent than at present. “This is what makes a speech memorable, and only this: That it should be spoken at a turning point in human affairs on behalf of a great hope.” If the World War has shown the need of teaching patriotism in our schools, what more effective means can be employed than to have pupils reproduce the utterances of our leaders on the issues of the hour? Most of these speeches and poems were produced at a time when the great decision was made to enlist the influence and power of the New World that the Old World militarism and nationalism may be supplanted by a new Internationalism. The utterances sustaining such a cause will be repeated while there

are men to remember them, and these utterances shall be not only a promise but a prophecy that out of the cruelty and agony of war shall emerge a more universal and enduring freedom than this old world has ever before known.

If this collection shall help to quicken the patriotism of the future citizens now in our schools, and through declamatory contests and patriotic exercises shall quicken the loyalty of listeners as well as speakers, this book will have served its purpose.

The editor is indebted to many authors and publishers for courtesies extended in the use of copyrighted material, particularly for permission to reprint several of the better and more recent war poems. Special acknowledgments are prefixed to the respective selections.

E. D. S. The University of Texas

September, 1918.

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