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BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO LONDON
ATLANTA DALLAS COLUMBUS SAN FRANCISCO

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

723.6

The Athen æum Press GINN AND COMPANY PRO. PRIETORS. BOSTON • U.S.A.

TO MY DEAR PARENTS

MR. AND MRS. MAURICE F. BROSNAHAN

531962

PREFACE

a

Having had in a negative, critical way a slight part in the making of this book, I am here permitted by way of preface a word concerning the purpose of the work, the importance of the purpose, and the way in which the volume may best serve that purpose.

From the reading of these pages even the academic person might not divine that the author's first aim has been to provide a book for schools, and the fact that the book does not betray its purpose is perhaps the best recommendation of it as a text on the literary essay for the college class in English. In being pleasantly and honestly disguised it may be the more surely effective, somewhat in the manner of the sermon in any of the great plays of Shakespeare. In this respect at least it is unique among the books on the subject, and it is easily presumed that students will not be displeased with a schoolbook that is agreeably humane.

It is evident in the several chapters that the author has made a very successful effort to deal with the various kinds of essays in the same spirit in which the essays themselves were done. It is basically assumed throughout that the best study of any literature is the study of the literature itself, that the essays of the masters will be by far their own best recommendation and amplest reward to whoever will make acquaintance with them.

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