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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
NEW YORK .:. CINCINNATI CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
HARPER'S FIFTH READER, designed for the use of upper classes in reading, is distinctively an American book, comprising nearly one hundred articles by leading American authors, and embracing subjects of great variety and of living interest to American readers. While in no respect oblivious to the value and excellence of selections from the British classics, it is believed that there is in the works of American authors a certain indefinable flavor which is peculiarly acceptable to pupils in our elementary schools. Readings from British authors may well follow the study of the poets and prose writers of America; our American youth cannot too early be led to a knowledge of the extent and the varied richness of our own literature. To cultivate a spirit of patriotism and to inculcate a commendable pride in the achievements of our countrymen is one of the first duties of the schools.
In the selection of matter for this volume equal attention has been given to variety of style, adaptability to school use, and literary excellence. Although this plan has enabled us to present articles from a large proportion of the best American writers, it has prevented the representation of several whose claims to recognition in literature are perhaps equal to some whose work has been admitted. But it should be remembered that the object of the editor has been to compile not simply a collection of literary gems, but a School Reader which, while serving the usual purposes of such a volume, shall prepare the way for an intelligent study and a just appreciation of English literature. With the exception of a few favorite pieces, with