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EDWARD HUGHES, F.R.G.S.,
HEAD MASTER OF THE ROYAL NAVAL LOWER SCHOOL, GREENWICH HOSPITAL ;
"The very essence of poetry is, that it exalts and ennobles us, and
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS.
THE Poems that are inserted in this volume are, for the most part, selections and not extracts. Of the educational value of extracts from the larger works of our great poets, the Editor has no mean opinion; but for bringing out the feeling of admiration and the love of the beautiful-which he conceives to be the main purpose of Poetry-he has always found that entire pieces were more efficient than detached extracts.
The leading peculiarity of this volume is the plan of introducing every poem with a prose piece. It is hardly to be expected that in selecting introductions for two or three hundred pieces the Editor has in all cases chosen the most appropriate; but still he indulges the hope that in a majority of instances he shall be found to have done so.
To a considerable number of the poems there are questions subjoined, principally with the view of directing the attention of the student to the more diffi
cult passages. There are also prefixed lists of words to many of them. With young pupils, these may be used simply as spelling lessons, but with those who are more advanced they should be employed for a higher purpose, as has been indicated, it is hoped with sufficient clearness, in the proper place. The vocabulary at the end of the work contains words that are derived from the Saxon as well as those that come directly from the Greek and Latin languages. It will be found useful in preparing the various exercises that are prefixed to many of the poems.
The Editor has to express his particular obligations to Messrs. Longman and Co., Messrs. Blackwood, and Edward Moxon, Esq., for their kind permission to use several pieces from their copyrights; and to Martin Tupper, Esq., who has allowed a liberal use of his works; also to the living authors whose names will be found inserted after their respective poems.
THE Intellectual System of Education is now too firmly established to require anything to be said in its favour. But it may be doubted if those who have adopted it have not given too exclusive attention to the Intellectual and neglected the Imaginative Powers. "It is no wisdom to make boys prodigies of information; but it is our wisdom and our duty to cultivate their faculties each in its season-first the memory and imagination, and then the judgment; to furnish them with the means, and to excite the desire of improving themselves, and to wait with confidence for God's blessing on the result."* The feelings form a constituent part of the mind, and require for their due development, no less than the Intellect, "the kind hand of an assiduous care." It will scarcely be denied that the Imaginative Faculties are as characteristic of Man as the Intellect, or that they have as much power as it to soften the temper, to refine the manners, to correct the heart, and, generally, to enlarge the mind. If so, that education must be looked upon as very far from complete which neglects to evoke the social sympathies; to embue with the love of the beautiful in nature, in art and in action; to fill the young heart at once with patriotism and philanthropy, and to draw out all the faculties which belong to man as man, and which bind him to his race.