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INTENDED FOR THE
USE OF HIGH SCHOOLS,
AS WELL AS
A COMPANION AND GUIDE FOR PRIVATE STUDENTS,
AND FOR GENERAL READERS.
FRANCIS H. UNDERWOOD, A. M.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871,
By LEE AND SHEPARD, In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
UNIVERSITY Press : John Wilson & Son,
Electrotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry,
No. 19 Spring Lane.
The author of this work, having been appointed to prepare a course of reading in English Literature for the Latin School in Bostun, was induced, after the adoption of the plan, to enlarge and perfect it, in order to supply an acknowledged want in popular education.
It is not expected that this, or any compilation, no matter how full and exhaustive, will be sufficient for the thorough student. It is undoubtedly wise, as a rule, to insist upon studying authors in their complete works; beyond question this is the only way to gain an adequate notion of an author's power and of his command of English ; and no one knows so well as the perplexed compiler how hard it is, if he would keep within the proper limits, to do any justice to the authors whose essays and poems he must mutilate, as mineralogists crack fossils or geodes, for specimens.
The writer well remembers the few and meagre collections of books in his native town. Excepting Scripture commentaries, hymn books, and a few religious biographies, not always inviting to children of ardent temperament, the most fascinating volumes accessible were “Rollin's Ancient History” and
Riley's Narrative.” It must be admitted, however, that “ Thaddeus of Warsaw," and a few other contraband romances, stowed away in the haymow for furtive reading at odd intervals on rainy days, furnished ideal pictures for the boyish imagination to dwell upon. It is with something like