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tion of both. The greatest text-book to knowledge is the dictionary, but its systematic study has been so long neglected that many people do not know how to draw from its pages the large fund of useful information that it contains. A chapter is devoted to explaining how this may be done. Suggestions on the benefits to be derived from reading, and by writing for publication are also included, together with a comprehensive list of the world's best books in English, where they can be obtained, and the prices of each, if known.

The man and woman who devote themselves to the study of the English language have a large and fruitful subject for investigation-one so exhaustless that it is impossible of completion. This book makes no pretense to exhaustiveness. The following pages are offered with the hope that within their limits they may serve adequately the purpose for which they have been written, and prove acceptable to all persons interested in the study of the glorious English tongue.

NEW YORK, February, 1915.

F. H. V.




English: Its Origin

THE first race to inhabit Albion of which we have any reliable records was that of the Celts. "Albion," as Britain was originally called, or as it is sometimes rendered, “Albin," has been variously explained. Dr. W. F. Collier1 is authority for the statement that the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, as Herodotus called them, were placed by Aristotle as "beyond the pillars of Hercules," and described by him as "two islands, which are very large, Albion and Ierne, called the Britannic, which lie beyond the Celta." Albion, says Collier, is explained to be a Celtic word meaning "white island," used by the Gauls to describe the chalkrocked land that lay to the north of them, but Dr. Isaac K. Funk, in his "Standard Dictionary," states the word is Latin, perhaps derived from the Gaelic Alp, meaning "height" a view which is accepted by most lexicographers.

Whatever may have been the origin of the name of the land which the Celts inhabited, the fact remains that they were found there, together with the Belge, by the Romans when they descended on British shores. The Belge were a 1 "History of the British Empire."

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