A Hand-Book of English Literature Intended for the Use of High Schools: As Well As a Companion and Guide for Private Students, and for General Readers (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 2019年1月7日 - 650页
Excerpt from A Hand-Book of English Literature Intended for the Use of High Schools: As Well as a Companion and Guide for Private Students, and for General Readers

By exercising a careful discrimination as to the number Of authors cited, it is possible to give far more liberal and satisfactory specimens from those whose preeminence is unquestioned.

Above all, the hand-book is intended to be readable, to make the introduction to our noble literature attractive, and to show that works of acknowledged authority are none the less entertaining, even to the casual reader, from being models of style and treasuries of thought.

The extracts are arranged in chronological order, so as to show the development of the language; but it will be found convenient in schools, in the first reading, to follow an order similar to that marked out in the original plan for the Latin School, mentioned in the early pages Of this volume: since few pupils would be able to contend with the difficulties Of obsolete phraseology and masculine thought at the outset. But when the selections are read a second time, it should be in the order in which they are printed.

In regard to this order of reading just mentioned, it will be observed that a few works are prescribed which are not included in this volume. The reason will commend itself to all judicious teachers. While we must be content, in the majority of cases, to give only selections from an author, often too brief, there are some works that will not bear any division, but must be read entire, if at all. For instance, to give a single scene, or even an act, from one Of Shakespeare's plays, would be merely tantalizing; far better to omit alto gether, unless a whole play could be presented. And any single play would be but a partial expression of his genius. It is strongly recommended that every High School should be furnished with a sufficient number of copies of Shakespeare to allow Of a systematic reading of several of his plays; also With Scott's Lady of the Lake, and Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield.

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