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PREFACE

THE American School Literary Reader is the crowning book of this unusual series. It is planned especially to meet the needs of the older pupils in rural schools, of higher grade classes in graded schools, and of students undertaking the serious study of literature in the first year of the high school.

It is intended also for use, not merely as the highest book of the American School Readers Series, but as an independent textbook and source book for the study of English literature by young people. Its aim is to introduce the pupils using it to an appreciative and friendly acquaintance with a large number of the greatest authors of the language through selections adapted to the comprehension and the taste of boys and girls.

The literature presented is not difficult to read. It is, on the contrary, easy of comprehension. It has a high ethical quality, tending to cultivate a love for the right and a love for country. The scope of selection is very wide, including most of the leading American authors, and also a goodly array of the best English writers, as well as the Bible.

In its selection of themes this book is most catholic, and in this respect is unique among the books of literature available for young people. The four great divisions of literature are all well represented; there is much good poetry; there are stories; there are essays; and there are orations : —all of a sort to interest

a boys and girls. With this book in use the “School Speaker" is not necessary.

Although the Literary Reader contains representatives of the four great divisions of literature, the selections are grouped rather by authors, each group being preceded by a biographical sketch of the author, accompanied by a portrait in all cases in which it was possible to secure one.

The authors put forth their book in the hope that it may bring at least to some of the boys and girls a love for the classics of our literature, and thus save them from the debasing influence of the commonplace.

The authors beg leave gratefully to acknowledge the valuable criticism of the manuscript by Professor Charles W. Kent, of the University of Virginia.

The authors beg to acknowledge the courtesy of William H. Hayne in granting them permission to use his own poems, The Screech-Owl and A Cyclone at Sea, and also Macdonald's Raid by his father, Paul H. Hayne, also for copies of photographs of himself and of his father; of Mrs. Janey Hope Marr for permission to use Three Summer Studies by her father, James Barron Hope, and for a photograph of Mr. Hope; of Mr. Alexander M. Stephens for a portrait of his uncle, the late Alexander H. Stephens, and for permission to use one of his orations; and of The Macmillan Company for permission to use The Months by James Lane Allen.

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