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room, and those points are made most prominent which have been productive of best results. The usual order of developing the theme, beginning with words and working up to the whole composition, has been reversed. In this book the pupil begins with the theme as a whole, and his mind is centered upon gathering material. Ideas and not words are his first consideration. This is the natural order of procedure, and is confirmed by psychological and pedagogical reasons. It is believed that it will prove to be an important feature of the book.
The authors have made no literary pretensions in what they have written. They have cared principally to be understood by everyone who uses the text, and they have been glad to sacrifice the graces of style for the accomplishment of this purpose. To this end, likewise, the definitions have been made concise and to the point, with abundant illustrations and exercises. This last feature, it is hoped, will be a boon to teacher and pupil alike, helpful to one and stimulating to the other. The necessity of finding something for the pupils to do beyond memorizing the words of a• text brings gray hairs to the head of the over-worked teacher ; it is easy for him to leave out part of the text, but it is far from easy to supply matter for the pupil to work with. Special efforts have been made by the authors to relieve him of this constant strain. In the limited time allotted to the study of composition and rhetoric it is quite probable that the entire material of the book cannot be
used. It is designed to cover a course of two years ; but teachers who must give less time to the subject are expected to make such choice of the material as the circumstances will permit. They will appreciate the large opportunities of choice which the book offers to meet their needs.
Roughly speaking, rhetoric has a two-fold function,
- to teach one to express his thoughts with business-like accuracy, and to acquaint him with the graces of style and the artistic effectiveness of language. Many schools do not have time for more than the first of these purposes; and to meet the requirements of such schools PARTS I. and II. Composition and The Laws of Good Use (see Table of Contents) — are published in a separate volume, together with an appendix on punctuation, letter-writing, good and bad specimens of composition, and a list of subjects for themes. This BRIEF Course is a thorough text on the subject of correct English ; the COMPLETE COURSE extends the subject to a full consideration of what is required to make a composition artistic and effective.
Special obligations to the many authors of rhetorics need hardly be acknowledged. The writers of the present work have had recourse to the whole storehouse of rhetorical doctrine. Their indebtedness is general rather than specific. Special thanks are due, however, to Professor L. A. Sherman of the University of Nebraska, to Professor Sophie C. Hart of Wellesley, to Mr. Thomas Hall of Harvard, and to a score of
teachers in secondary schools for kindly suggestions. Thanks are also due to the various publishers, to the Dial, and to East and West for permission to use extracts from their publications. The work of Mrs. Martha A. L. Lane, of Hingham, Mass., in revising the proofsheets, and in offering timely suggestions, has been of great value.
L. W. S.
J. E. T.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.