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what should be carried out in other instances, so far as the interests of the class may demand, and the time permit.
It is better to be thorough in a few things than to be superficial in many. It will be more profitable to deal faithfully with the selections given in this book, than to neglect them for a wider
range. The general reading can come later, after a correct taste has been formed.
This leads us to the paramount object of studying literature in schools ; namely, the developing of so pure a taste that the learner will be able to discriminate at once between real literature and trash. The time will come for our pupils when they cannot have parents, teachers, or friends by their side to tell them whether or not a book is good reading. They must learn to recognize for themselves the moral tendency, the literary character, the trend of influence, which constitute the inherent power for good or evil of any piece of writing. There is but one way for teachers to inculcate this, and that is by getting their pupils so thoroughly enamored with what is true and beautiful that they will instinctively turn away from everything of an opposite nature.
In the author's opinion a teacher cannot do better than to follow the book through by a regular succession of lessons, using the questions and requirements found in the book, with such other questions and exercises as may be suggested by the wants of the class. Asking pupils to look up all they can learn from any source concerning an author or his works would be detrimental to the plan of this book, since the notice of authors has been made brief in order that the mind may be employed with their best productions — not with anything and everything which they may have written, nor with personal idiosyncrasies which will only encourage a morbid inquisitiveness.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Beginnings of English Literature.
SECTION 1.- EARLY WRITINGS OF Keltic ORIGIN.
8. Keltic Character..
9. Keltic Poetry...
10. The First Poet..
Section II.- Earliest LITERATURE OF TEUTONIC Origin.
11. Recreations among the Teutons..
12. Beowulf ...
Literature of the Seventeenth Century.
50. General Character.
51. The Writers of the Period. .
52. Order of Presentation..
54. Jeremy Taylor....
55. John Milton as a Prose-Writer ..
56. Sir Matthew Hale..
57. Isaac Barrow.
58. Izaak Walton.
59. John Bunyan.