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HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,

82 CLIFF STREET.
Ab 18,51.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand

eight hundred and fifiy, by

Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District

of New York,

PRE FACE.

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In preparing this work, my attention has been constantly fixed upon the wants of the Students in the higher institutions of learning. Were the president of one of these institutions asked why the systematic study of the English language is neglected in his college, his reply would very likely be, “There is no suitable text-book ; our pupils, when boys, studied English grammar in the primary schools, despising it, perhaps, in comparison with the Latin and the Greek; but, unfortunately, they do not systematically study the language after they have come to maturity. Hence it often happens that they leave the college for their professional studies without a thorough and extensive acquaintance with their mother tongue.”

Ought the English language, as a study, to be confined to the lower schools, and excluded from colleges ? Is there not enough in its matter and in its forms; in its historical elements and relations; in its grammatical and logical structure; in its ordinary uses for the common purposes of life; in its esthetical applications to eloquence and poetry; in it, as a portraiture of the soul of the Anglo-Saxon race, enough to attract, and task, and reward the mind in the full maturity of its powers? Besides what it has in common with other languages, is there not in it enough of inherent interest, enough of difficulty, enough of fruit in disciplinal influence and practical knowledge to entitle it to a place in colleges by the side of the classical languages as a part of a liberal education? “The grammar of a language," says Locke, "is sometimes to be studied by a grown man.”

My attention has also been directed to the wants of Teachers in the primary schools throughout our land. In giving instruction, questions concerning the language frequently arise in their minds, or are proposed to them by their pupils, which are not solved by the compendious books in use. They feel the need of collateral aid. It has been my endeavor to furnish intelligent teachers with helps for answering these questions; to exhibit historical facts and reasonings not found in the smaller works, or, indeed, in any one work, and not only to furnish rules and examples, but also to exhibit the foundation-principles of the rules, the leges legum of the language. In short, I have endeavored to

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