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ficial reading of an author will do little good. The same process that is in vogue in the study of a Latin Classic must be employed in the study of an English one.
The etymology and primary meaning of the words must be investigated, the idioms noticed, the constructions analyzed, the figures and allusions examined and elucidated. The teacher must point out peculiarities of style and beauties of expression or imagery; and the practice of composition, in some cases with imitative exercises, must be carried on in connection with the study of the author in hand. If this be carefully and systematically done, “ English Language and Literature” will very soon vindicate for itself a leading position in the educational course.
The accompanying series of Extracts will, it is hoped, supply a want in this direction. The authors selected may be regarded as representative writers. They include the leading names connected with each epoch of our National Literature. Many of our great masters of English Prose are indeed passed over, but it is nevertheless believed that almost every variety of style is worthily represented. It has been the Editor's aim to make the Extracts sufficiently long at once to exhibit . an adequate sample of the author's language and a complete and connected description or argument. In compiling the Notes, he has, to the best of his ability, sought fairly to illustrate the text, to avoid trivialities, and to explain what really needed explanation.