I just love those old school books and over the years have collected quite a few of them. While going through some of the pages it occurred to me, that sharing some of the information in them would be fun. If you have a minute or two, read on.
From Sander's New Second Reader June 1853.
Marks and Pauses used in Reading.
If with correctness you would read,
You must with care the pauses heed.
As oft as you the Comma meet,
You pause while one you can repeat.
At Semicolons thus you do:
You pause the time of counting two.
At Colons then, the pause is more:
For there you rest the the time of four.
For Periods thus the rule we fix;
You rest the time of counting six.
Quotations show the words of others;
As "Brothers should not war with brothers."
Now Exclamations next appear;
These mark delight, surprise, or fear;
And here the time to rest we state,
The same as we for colons rate.
Interrogations serve to show
Some question asked; as, Will you go?
At which you rest but little more
Than time to count the number four,
Thus, if correctly you would read,
With care the marks and pauses heed.