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The author and publishers acknowledge indebtedness and give sincere
thanks to the following authors and publishers, who have given permission
to use selections from their writings, and who have in many ways aided the

Miss Eliza Allen Starr, now deceased, who was deeply interested in these
readers and who encouraged the author in her work; Ella Reardon Baird,
Eleanor C. Donnelly, Mary Sarsfield Gilmore, Mary Blanche O'Sullivan, Susan
L. Emery, Mary Catherine Crowley, Mary F. Nixon-Roulet, Marion J. Brunowe,
Mary T. Waggaman, James Jeffrey Roche, Denis A. McCarthy, Henry Coyle,
and Eben E. Rexford.

The selections from George Bancroft and William Cullen Bryant are by
permission of D. Appleton & Company; from Benjamin F. Taylor, by per-
mission of Scott, Foresman & Co.; from Kathleen O'Meara, Charles Warren
Stoddard, by permission of the Ave Maria; from Longfellow, Margaret J. Preston,
Margaret E. Sangster, John G. Saxe, Charles Dudley Warner, by permission of,
and special arrangements with, Houghton, Mifflin & Co.; from John Boyle
O'Reilly, by permission of the "O'Reilly Estate."

Thanks are given to Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana, for per-
mission to use a copy of the fresco, "Taking Possession of the New World,”
by Gregori.


To All to Whom it may Concern:

To place before the young a series of reading books that will contain noble and elevating thoughts, the best that has been enshrined in the literature of ages, is a task worthy of the wisest minds and of the grandest efforts. Whatever may be gleaned from the past that will contribute to the holy living of the present is, by right, the heritage of the young, the heirs and descendants of the long line of great and good who have gone to their reward.

A reading book is, or should be, a collection of the sayings and writings of the best men and noblest women. The young are asked “to think over again the thoughts of others"; they are asked to make those thoughts so much their own that they in turn will endeavor to aid in transmitting them to posterity. “Will this thought have a good effect on the soul of the reader?” “Will it inspire him to do better work, to have higher ideals, to develop his character more in accordance with the designs of the Creator?” These and other questions face the makers of reading books, and the test of the book's worth must be determined by its effect on the thoughts, words, and deeds of the readers.


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