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nothing, – tend to give the student a certain dazzling affectation of literary culture at the expense of an amount of brain-work, that, properly utilized, would put him in possession of well-defined ideas of excellence of style, and enable him to form an intelligent and just estimate of an author's merit for himself,- a substantial attainment as valuable as it is rare. In the other great departments of learning, the student is not required at first to learn the history of them, or of their patrons and successful promoters: on the contrary, his intellectual forces are at once employed in learning the general results already obtained in them, and the best methods of modern analysis and investigation. In chemistry, we do not begin with alchemy and the alchemists; in astronomy, we do not begin with astrology and the absurd pretensions and aims of astrologers; neither do we stop at every short poem in mathematics, or grand epic in celestial mechanics, to learn the biography of the author, his relations to society and to science. In a similar manner, and mindful of the great influence of American thought and institutions upon the language, we believe it advisable to introduce the pupil to our most distinguished modern authors first, and, while putting him in possession of the power
and spirit of the literature of to-day, lead him back to the classical period, exciting his curiosity by the way to pursue its earlier history at his leisure. A few authors carefully studied would undoubtedly produce the most valuable results; but, since tastes differ as to which ones should be so studied, it is thought a greater number, of unquestioned merit, ought to find a place in a text-book designed for drill in acquiring the best style of which the student is capable. The success of the plan, the selections and arrangement, is left to the judgment of my fellow-teachers, whose suggestions as to modifications in either will be gratefully acknowledged. in any future edition. The want of a proper text-book to carry out the plan above indicated of teaching English literature is the only excuse for making this. Notes and criticisms are in the main omitted, since these selections are to be stulied critically, the pupil using the dictionary and encyclopædias with an industry equal to that given to the study of Greek and Latin. Our thanks are due to Messrs. Fields, Osgood, & Co., for special permission to select from their copyright editions of the works of Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Holmes, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Bryant's translation of Homer's Iliad; also to Messrs. Harper & Bros., D. Appleton & Co., George P. Putnam & Son, for extracts from Motley, Bryant, and Irving, whose works they publish.
GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON:
Sympathy a Source of the Sublime, 418 JOSEPH ADDISON:
Bickerstaff learning Fencing....... 506