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THE EXCELSIOR READERS

Comprise the following Works, all beautifully Illustrated :FIRST EXCELSIOR READER, THIRD EXCELSIOR READER, 2nd Edition, 10th Thousand,

2nd Edition, 10th Thousand,

8d. 64 pp., cloth

4d.

160 pp., cloth SECOND EXCELSIOR READER,

FOURTH EXCELSIOR READER, 160 pp., cloth

10d. 2nd Edition, 10th Thousand,

FIFTH EXCELSIOR READER, 96 pp., cloth

6d.
cloth

ls. SIXTH EXCELSIOR READER, 256 pp., cloth...... 1s. The FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD EXCELSIOR READERS are also each published

in Two Parts, at half the price of the complete Work.

192 PP.,

PRIVATE SCHOOL EDITION.

(Published by request.) Handsomely bound in stout boards, bevelled edges, and gilt lettered; forming the most elegant School Reading Books ever offered to the Profession.

, No. 21s. EXCELSIOR READER, No. 4, Is. 6d. EXCELSIOR READER, NO. 3, 15. bd. EXCELSIOR READER, No. 5, 23.

EXCELSIOR READER, No. 6, 2s. 6d.

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Prefatory Bemarks.

THE SIXTH EXCELSIOR READER is similar in purpose and general character to the Fifth of the series, but it contains fewer lessons in poetry, while a greater number of the prose lessons are of a didactic or scientific character. The EXERCISES IN ETYMOLOGY have been continued, as well as the EXERCISES IN MEANINGS OF WORDS, COMPOSITION, PARSING, and ANALYSIS, which have proved to be most acceptable and useful adjuncts to the Lessons. In the selection of words for the Exercises in Etymology, care has been taken, in the majority of cases, to choose those whose roots are the common sources of many words in the English languages. The pupil should be required to take each word, and make as full a list as possible of derivatives that trace their origin, either wholly or in part, to the same root. This will not only tend to give him facility in wordbuilding, but also teach him to distinguish the nice gradations of meauing in words which, though broadly bracketed as synonyms, have such a difference of signification as to render one more appropriate, under particular circumstances, than another.

Among the READING LESSOns in this volume will be found extracts from the works of some of our best English poets and prose-writers, amongst whom may be specially named Sir Walter Scott, Sterne, Swift, and Oliver Goldsmith. The Lessons in History and Geography, which were commenced in the third and fourth volumes of the series, have been completed; and, interspersed among the lighter pieces of fiction and essays, with which the book abounds, will be found lessons bearing on Natural History and Geology, and the experiences of foreign travel.

An Essay by Thomas Arnold, on the “STUDY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE,”. takes the place in this volume of the Essay on the “ART OF READING, which was given in the FIFTH EXCELSIOR READER. It contains much sound advice on what to read and how to read; and will prove the means, it is hoped, of inducing many a youth, after leaving school, to persevere in self-instruction, and rear on the foundation of knowledge that has been carefully laid in his school-boy days, a superstructure of learning and book lore made of materials to be gathered with care and judgment from the works of the best of our English poets, dramatists, historians, essayists, and novelists.

Finally, the Publisher begs again to offer his sincere thanks to all who have assisted him in commencing, continuing, and completing the EXCELSIOR KEADERS, a series which the Press and the Scholastic Profession are unanimous in propouncing the best, cheapest, and most durable series of Reading Books for Elementary Schools that have yet been offered to the public,

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* Each Reading Lesson is preceded by an Exercise in Etymology, and

followed by another on Meanings of Words, Composition, Parsing, or

Analysis.
AT Abbreviations used in the Exercises in Etymology :-A.-S., Anglo-

Saxon; F., French ; G., German; Gk., Greek; It., Italian ; L., Latin;
W., Welsh

HOW TO STUDY ENGLISH LITERATURE. IN a German university, when fully constituted, there are four faculties, -Theology, Arts, Law, and Medicine. These are old names; and one of them-Arts—though it conveyed a clear enough meaning in the Middle Ages, has, through the changes which time has wrought in our ideas about education, ceased to convey a definite notion to the mind now, The Germans, therefore, who to all these matters apply intelligence and rational method, while retaining the old name, divide the faculty of Arts into two departments, Philosophy and Literature. Thus they distinctly recognise Literature to be an independent source of knowledge and instrument of instruction.

What, then, is Literature as distinguished from Philosophy? Briefly, the difference lies in this,—that while Philosophy investigates laws and deals with things, Literature deals with thoughts. Nor with thoughts simply as such, but with thoughts in a certain dress of expression. Literature is well-clad thought; the vehicle of language, the element of style, are essential parts of the conception. It is good for us therefore, it increases our knowledge, and advances the work of our education, simply to make ourselves acquainted with the finely expressed thoughts of great minds, which is what the study of Literature implies. And this proposition, if we consider a little, is evidently true. Our knowledge of things and of laws may be grievously deficient; we may be unable to refer one wild-flower to its botanical genus, to tell the name of an uncommon insect, or explain the principle of the hydraulic ram ; still, if the thoughts, passions, humours, of men of genius, made known to us through Literature, have swept freely through our minds, kindling in us corresponding thoughts and emotions, and consequently deepening our interest in all the forms of human character, all the changes of human destiny, we are so far better and wiser than before we began the study. We know something about man, though we may be sadly in the dark about nature ; we act on the suggestion of the poet, who said, not without deep reason in the words,

“The proper study of mankind is man." For those who have to study Literature in preparation for the business of life,—that they may qualify themselves to be teachers, professors, and the like, and also for those who are studying it as a part, and during the course, of a liberal education, it is, of course, very important to work according to a good method; but these are not the classes for whom these remarks are intended. They are intended for those whose education, in the narrow and technical sense of the term, is just over; who are about to enter on the duties of practical life-duties which will absorb the greatest part of their waking hours, leaving however some margin, larger or smaller as the case may be, which they may devote to bodily recreation or to the things of the mind. This margin will be devoted by very many to some branch of physical science, and most rationally will it be so employed. It is not these however who are here addressed, but that other, and perhaps larger, class of persons, who, having no turn for scientific inquiry, desire to spend the margin of leisure

* By THOMAS ARNOLD, B.A., author of “A Manual of English Literature, Historical and Critical” (78. 6d., Longman & Co.);“ A Short History of English Literature” (vol. I., 1s. 6d., Thomas Murby)., etc., etc.

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