Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1895, by ELDREDGE & BROTHER,

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



THE indications of a growing demand for more practical methods of instruction in English Composition are unmistakable. To meet this demand is the object of the present book. In pursuance of such an object I have consistently refrained from touching upon the theory of Rhetoric, or upon the relations of Rhetoric to Grammar, Logic, and Esthetics, and have tried to state-in the plainest way possible-only those things which every educated person ought to know.

In this Preface I take the liberty of calling attention to two general features.

First, it has been my constant endeavor to make the book interesting and stimulating.

Second, it has been no less my endeavor to make the book available both for school and for college. How far I may have succeeded, must be left to the reader's judgment. I do not believe that anything here treated, possibly the chapter on Argumentation excepted, is too difficult for the boy or girl of average ability; or, on the other hand, that any rules are here laid down which one would be tempted to discard in maturer years. After all, the doctrine which teaches from these pages is not of my invention; it is merely the formulated practice of the best writers, exemplified in the illustrative extracts.

The statement of Sequence in paragraphs of Exposi-
tion and Argumentation, in §5, may appear somewhat
meagre. The fault, if it be one, lies in the nature of the
subject. Sequence, or Order, is a quality which cannot
be formulated rigorously, much less can it be apprehended
by the aid of rules. It is to be acquired only through
the close study and imitation of good models. The reader
is referred, therefore, to the illustrative extracts in Chapters
VII. and VIII.

Part IV. is not offered as a substitute for the systematic
study of the history of English Literature, but as a gen-
eral aid to the student in his reading, whether in school

or at home. In this part I have endeavored to awaken
the student to a juster appreciation of the various forms
of poetry, of versification, and of oratory.

Still more obviously is the chapter upon the History of
the Language intended to be stimulating rather than dog-
matic. Technicalities have been avoided and the subject
is presented only in its broadest and most practical as-
pects. From this treatment the student will, I hope,
get at least a brief but attractive insight into the evolu-
tion of our English speech.




« AnteriorContinuar »