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Rhetoric and literary criticism have been so long and so thoroughly discussed that it would be difficult to treat of them in a strictly original manner. In the present volume general indebtedness to the works enumerated in the Bibliography to Part I will be evident, and there are, without doubt, echoes of many other volumes that have been consulted in the years during which this text has been developing. An attempt has been made to give specific credit wherever possible. Professor Clark S. Northup of Cornell University kindly read the manuscript and suggested improvement in certain details. Doctor Ida Fleischer of the Michigan State Normal College assisted in the proof-reading.
The selections from C. D. Warner's My Summer in a Garden, Longfellow's Life, Letters, and Journal, Emerson in Concord, and Scudder's Life of Lowell are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company, authorized publishers of these works. In the course of the text courtesies are acknowledged to the following publishers: Ginn and Company, D. Appleton and Company, Doubleday, Page, and Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, The American Book Company, Harper Brothers, Estes and Lauriat, and The Macmillan Company.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS
Every teacher of literature knows how often students come unprepared to the class with the excuse, “I didn't know how to go at the lesson.” They have in their hands some edition of a masterpiece, carefully annotated to explain words and allusions, but failing to suggest any plan of study. If the teacher has no time or opportunity to formulate such a plan, the students probably gain only detached and fragmentary notions of the classic, and no conception at all of its purpose and value. The studies in this volume are intended to show the pupils one way "to go at” their work, by outlining plans for the study of some of the masterpieces most profitable for class work and most often used in the high school class in American literature. The STUDIES are the product of class-room experience, and have been found practically useful as a means of inspiring in not a few young persons an intelligent appreciation of good literature. It may not be amiss to state here a few of the aims the volume attempts to achieve.
1. It is not the intention that the book shall furnish the student with material for memorizing — shall do his thinking for him. It is the purpose, rather, to direct his thought and work. The book is to point out to him the various features to which, in certain works of literature, he should give his attention. It is expected that, through the study of certain poems and stories and essays, he will form such
habits of reading and observation as will develop in him the power to apply the same principles to other works, and to analyze independently other classics of the same kind and no greater difficulty. One test of the success of school work and text-book direction in literature is the increase in the student's power to read good books with understanding and with pleasure.
2. An attempt is made in each one of these STUDIES to emphasize the thought of the masterpiece, and to make that the basis of work. Rhetorical devices are discussed not for their own sake, but as means by which a certain thought is well expressed, or a certain effect is successfully produced.
3. It is the endeavor of these STUDIES to keep the masterpiece before the student as a unit, to emphasize the unifying notion-"the informing spirit" that governs and gives life to the expression. In the study of any work of art, the parts must not be made so prominent as to seem greater than the whole; rather, details, while not neglected, must be subordinated to and blended into the effect and harmony of the whole. It is a mistake to be so occupied with the trees that one cannot see the forest. A literary classic must not be made to appear a pot-pourri of figures, sentences, words, strung together for their own sake, with little system and no method. Therefore each masterpiece is here considered first as a whole and last as a whole, that the unity of impression may not be lost.
4. This careful and detailed study of an author's works must precede any intelligent general statements about his style, and in classes of students sufficiently advanced may properly be followed by a paper summarizing the results of the study of the individual works. Such a paper will tell how a writer commonly makes forcible, suggestive, and