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With Copious Extracts from the Leading Authors,
English and American,
WITH FULL INSTRUCTIONS AS TO THE METHOD IN
TO BE STUDIED,
ADAPTED FOR USE IN COLLEGES, HIGH SCHOOLS AND
BRAINERD KELLOGG, A.M.,
Higher Lessons in English."
CLARK & MAYNARD, PUBLISHERS, ,
May we not hope and expect that our children are to be taught English literature better than their parents were ? The intelligent teacher is now brushing aside the text-book that keeps pupil and authors apart, and he and they are allowed to meet face to face. How we could ever have thought that the study of what some one had said about literature or its authors was a study of literature itself excites our wonder now; we wonder that as pupils we did not detect the usurper, and rise against him in indignant revolt. Some of us have learned—what our teachers did not seem to know—that grievous wrong is done a pupil in furnishing him a mass of second-hand knowledge concerning authors, and in substituting the study of this mass for the study of the authors themselves.
Indeed, is it not to utter an educational truism now to say that no greater harm can be inflicted upon a pupil in any study than doing for him in it what he can do for himself? It takes from him the keen relish of it which the discovery of a fact or the conquest of a principle gives it; it robs him of the pleasure which such conquest or discovery yields ; it deprives him of the inestimable discipline which such labor compels; and it weakens his hold upon the fact or the principle, which slips from a grasp that would have been tenacious had he made the attainment unaided. Better far than the whole prepared for him and communicated to him by textbook or teacher would be a half or a tenth of it found out