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Title: Special Method in the Reading of Complete English Classics - In the Grades of the Common School
Author: McMurry, Charles A. (Charles Alexander), 1857-1929
Language: English
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  New York

  _All rights reserved_

  COPYRIGHT, 1903,

  Set up and electrotyped October, 1902.

  Norwood Press
  J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith
  Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


  EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF LITERATURE                            1


  THE USE OF MASTERPIECES AS WHOLES                         41




  CLASS-ROOM METHOD IN READING                             102




  THE VALUE OF CLASSICS TO THE TEACHER                     176


  LIST OF BOOKS                                            205




The gradual introduction of the choicer products of literature into the
grades of the common school has been going on for several years.
Bringing the school children face to face with the thoughts of the
masters has had often a thrilling effect, and the feeling has spread
among teachers that a new door has been opened into what Ruskin calls
"The King's Gardens." As we stand at this open portal to the Elysian
Fields of literature, there may fall upon us something of the beauty,
something even of the solemn stillness, of the arched cathedral with its
golden windows. But how inadequate is the Gothic cathedral, or the Greek
temple, to symbolize the temple of literature.

Within less than a score of years there has been such reading of varied
literary masterpieces by children as to bring us face to face with a
problem of prime significance in education, the place and importance of
literature in the education of American children.

Millions of children are introduced yearly to bookland, and it is a
matter of greater importance than what Congress does, what provision is
made for these oncoming millions in the sunlit fields and forest glades
of literature, where the boys and girls walk in happy companionship with
the "wisest and wittiest" of our race. We have now had enough experience
with these treasures of culture to get a real foretaste of the feast
prepared for the growing youth. We know that their appetites are keen
and their digestive powers strong. It is incumbent upon educators to get
a comprehensive survey of this land and to estimate its resources. Other
fields of study, like natural science, geography, music, etc., are
undergoing the same scrutiny as to their educative value. Literature,
certainly a peer in the hierarchy of great studies, if not supreme in
value above others, is one of the most difficult to estimate. Tangible
proofs of the vital culture-force of good literature upon growing minds
can be given in many individual cases. But to what degree it has general
or universal fitness to awaken, strengthen, and refine all minds, is in

It seems clear, at least, that only those who show taste and enthusiasm
for a choice piece of literature can teach it with success. This
requirement of appreciation and enjoyment of the study is more
imperative in literature, because its appeal is not merely to the
intellect and the reason, as in other studies, but especially to the
emotions and higher æsthetic judgments, to moral and religious sentiment
in ideal representation.

It has been often observed that discussions of the superior educative
value of literature before bodies of teachers, while entertaining and
delightful, fall far short of lasting results because of the teachers'
narrow experience with literature. In the case of many teachers, the
primitive alphabet of literary appreciation is lacking, and the most
enthusiastic appeals to the charm and exaltation of such studies fall
harmless. Yet literature in the schools is hopeless without teachers who
have felt at home in this delightsome land, this most real world of
ideal strength and beauty.

The discussion of the subject for teachers is beset, therefore, with
peculiar and seemingly insurmountable difficulties. The strength, charm,
and refinement of literature are known only to those who have read the
masters with delight, while even people of cultured taste listen
doubtfully to the praise of authors they have never read. To one
enamoured of the music of Tennyson's songs, the very suggestion of "In
Memoriam" awakens enthusiasm. To one who has not read Tennyson and his
like, silence on the subject is golden. To those not much travelled in
the fields of literature, there is danger of speaking in an unknown
tongue, while they, of all others, need a plain and convincing word. To
speak this plain and convincing word to those who may have acquired but
little relish for literature, and that little only in the fragmentary
selections of the school readers, is a high and difficult aim. But
teachers are willing to learn, and to discover new sources of enthusiasm
in their profession. It is probable, also, that the original capacity to
enjoy great literature is much more common than is often supposed, and
that the great average of teachers is quite capable of receiving this
powerful stimulus. The fact is, our common schools have done so little,
till of late, to cultivate this fine taste, that we have faint reason to
expect it in our teachers.

Overwhelmed as we are with the folly of indulging in the praise of
literature before many whose ears have been but poorly attuned to the
sweet melody or majestic rhythm of the masters, we still make bold to
grapple with this argument. There is surely no subject to which the
teachers need more to open their eyes and ears and better nature, so as
to take in the enrichment it affords. There is encouragement in the fact
that many teachers fully appreciate the worth of these writers, and have
succeeded in making their works beautiful and educative to the children.
Very many other teachers are capable of the full refreshing enjoyment of
classic works, when their attention and labor are properly expended upon
them. The colleges, universities, high schools, and normal schools have
largely abandoned the dull epitomizing of literature, the talk about
authors, for the study of the works themselves of the masters. The
consequence is, that the study of literature in English is becoming an
enthusiasm, and teachers of this type are multiplying.

The deeper causes for this widespread lack of literary appreciation
among the people, and even among teachers and scholars, is found partly
in the practical, scientific, and utilitarian spirit of the age, and
partly in the corresponding unliterary courses of study which have
prevailed everywhere in our common schools. The absence of literary
standards and taste among teachers is due largely to the failure of the
schools themselves, hitherto, to cultivate this sort of proficiency.
Those very qualities which give to literature its supreme excellence,
its poetic beauty, its artistic finish and idealism, are among the
highest fruits of culture, and are far more difficult of attainment than
mere knowledge. It is no small thing to introduce the rarest and finest
culture of the world into the common school, and thus propagate, in the
broadest democratic fashion, that which is the peculiar, superior
refinement of the choicest spirits of the world. If progress in this
direction is slow, we may remember that the best ideals are slow of

There is also an intangible quality in all first-class literature, which
is not capable of exact description or demonstration. George Willis
Cooke, in "Poets and Problems" (pp. 31-32), says:--

"Poetry enters into those higher regions of human experience concerning
which no definite account can be given; where all words fail; about
which all we know is to be obtained by hints, symbols, poetic figures,
and imagings. Poetry is truer and more helpful than prose, because it
penetrates those regions of feeling, beauty, and spiritual reality,
where definitions have no place or justification. There would be no
poetry if life were limited to what we can understand; nor would there
be any religion. Indeed, the joy, the beauty, and the promise of life
would all be gone if there were nothing which reaches beyond our powers
of definition. The mystery of existence makes the grandeur and worth of
man's nature, as it makes for him his poetry and his religion. Poetry
suggests, hints, images forth, what is too wonderful, too transcendent,
too near primal reality, too full of life, beauty, and joy, for
explanation or comprehension. It embodies man's longing after the
Eternal One, expresses his sense of the deep mystery of Being, voices
his soul sorrow, illumines his path with hope and objects of beauty.
Man's aspiration, his sense of imperfection, his yearning for a
sustaining truth and reality, as the life within and over all things,
find expression in poetry; because it offers the fittest medium of
interpretation for these higher movements of soul. Whenever the soul
feels deeply, or is stirred by a great thought, the poetic form of
utterance at once becomes the most natural and desirable for its loving
and faithful interpretation."

This intangible excellence of superior literature, which defies all
exact measurement by the yardstick, puzzles the practical man and the
scientist. There is no way of getting at it with their tools and
measurements. They are very apt to give it up in disgust and dismiss it
with some uncomplimentary name. But Shakespeare's mild reign continues,
and old Homer sings his deathless song to those who wish to hear.

Teachers need both the exact methods of science and the spiritual life
of the poets, and we may well spend some pains in finding out the
life-giving properties of good literature.

Lowell, in his "Books and Libraries," says:--

"To wash down the drier morsels that every library must necessarily
offer at its board, let there be plenty of imaginative literature, and
let its range be not too narrow to stretch from Dante to the elder
Dumas. The world of the imagination is not the world of abstraction and
nonentity, as some conceive, but a world formed out of chaos by a sense
of the beauty that is in man and the earth on which he dwells. It is the
realm of Might-be, our haven of refuge from the shortcomings and
disillusions of life. It is, to quote Spenser, who knew it well,--

"'The world's sweet inn from care and wearisome turmoil.' Do we believe,
then, that God gave us in mockery this splendid faculty of sympathy
with things that are a joy forever? For my part, I believe that the love
and study of works of imagination is of practical utility in a country
so profoundly material (or, as we like to call it, practical) in its
leading tendencies as ours. The hunger after purely intellectual
delights, the content with ideal possessions, cannot but be good for us
in maintaining a wholesome balance of the character and of the
faculties. I for one shall never be persuaded that Shakespeare left a
less useful legacy to his countrymen than Watt. We hold all the deepest,
all the highest, satisfactions of life as tenants of imagination. Nature
will keep up the supply of what are called hard-headed people without
our help, and, if it come to that, there are other as good uses for
heads as at the end of battering-rams."

"But have you ever rightly considered what the mere ability to read
means? That it is the key which admits us to the whole world of thought
and fancy and imagination? to the company of saint and sage, of the
wisest and wittiest at their wisest and wittiest moments? That it
enables us to see with the keenest eyes, hear with the finest ears, and
listen to the sweetest voices of all time? More than that, it
annihilates time and space for us; it revives for us without a miracle
the Age of Wonder, endowing us with the shoes of swiftness and the cap
of darkness, so that we walk invisible like fern-seed, and witness
unharmed the plague at Athens or Florence or London; accompany Cæsar on
his marches, or look in on Catiline in council with his
fellow-conspirators, or Guy Fawkes in the cellar of St. Stephen's. We
often hear of people who will descend to any servility, submit to any
insult, for the sake of getting themselves or their children into what
is euphemistically called good society. Did it ever occur to them that
there is a select society of all the centuries to which they and theirs
can be admitted for the asking, a society, too, which will not involve
them in ruinous expense, and still more ruinous waste of time and health
and faculties?

"The riches of scholarship, the benignities of literature, defy fortune
and outlive calamity. They are beyond the reach of thief or moth or
rust. As they cannot be inherited, so they cannot be alienated. But they
may be shared, they may be distributed."

This notion of the select companionship of books finds also happy
expression in Ruskin's "Sesame and Lilies":--

"We may intrude ten minutes' talk on a cabinet minister, answered
probably with words worse than silence, being deceptive; or snatch, once
or twice in our lives, the privilege of throwing a bouquet in the path
of a princess, or arresting the kind glance of a queen. And yet these
momentary chances we covet; and spend our years, and passions, and
powers in pursuit of little more than these; while, meantime, there is
a society continually open to us, of people who will talk to us as long
as we like, whatever our rank or occupation;--talk to us in the best
words they can choose, and with thanks if we listen to them. And this
society, because it is so numerous and so gentle,--and can be kept
waiting round us all day long, not to grant audience, but to gain it;
kings and statesmen lingering patiently in those plainly furnished and
narrow anterooms, our bookcase shelves,--we make no account of that
company,--perhaps never listen to a word they would say, all day long!

"This court of the past differs from all living aristocracy in this: it
is open to labor and to merit, but to nothing else. No wealth will
bribe, no name overawe, no artifice deceive, the guardian of those
Elysian gates. In the deep sense, no vile or vulgar person ever enters
there. At the portières of that silent Faubourg St.-Germain, there is
but brief question, 'Do you deserve to enter?' 'Pass. Do you ask to be
the companions of nobles? Make yourself noble, and you shall be. Do you
long for the conversation of the wise? Learn to understand it, and you
shall hear it. But on other terms?--no. If you will not rise to us, we
cannot stoop to you. The living lord may assume courtesy, the living
philosopher explain his thought to you with considerable pain; but here
we neither feign nor interpret; you must rise to the level of our
thoughts if you would be gladdened by them, and share our feelings, if
you would recognize our presence.'"

Wordsworth says:--

                                  "Books, we know,
  Are a substantial world, both pure and good;
  Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
  Our pastime and our happiness will grow."

Carlyle says:--

"We learn to read, in various languages, in various sciences; we learn
the alphabet and letters of all manner of Books. But the place where we
are to get knowledge, even theoretic knowledge, is the Books themselves!
It depends on what we read, after all manner of Professors have done
their best for us. The true University of these days is a Collection of

Were we willing to accept the testimony of great writers and thinkers,
we should but too quickly acknowledge the supreme value of books. James
Baldwin, in the first chapter of his "Book Lover," has collected more
than a score of like utterances of great writers "In Praise of Books."
Such testimony may at least suggest to some of us who have drunk but
sparingly of the refreshing springs of literature, that there are better
things in store for us.

We will first inquire into those vital elements of strength which are
peculiar to literature.

One of the elements that goes into the make-up of a masterpiece of
literature is its underlying, permanent truth. Whether written to-day or
in earlier centuries, it must contain lasting qualities that do not fade
away or bleach out or decay. Time and weather do not stain or destroy
its merit. Some classics, as Gray's "Elegy," or "Thanatopsis," are like
cut diamonds. The quality that gives them force and brilliancy is
inherent, and the form in which they appear has been wrought out by an
artist. The fundamental value of a classic is the deep, significant
truth which, like the grain in fine woods, is wrought into its very
structure. The artist who moulds a masterpiece like "Enoch Arden" or
"The Scarlet Letter" is not a writer of temporary fame. The truth to
which he feels impelled to give expression is strong, natural, human
truth, which has no beginning and no end. It is true forever. Schiller's
William Tell, though idealized, is a human hero with the hearty thoughts
of a real man. Shylock is a Jew of flesh and blood, who will laugh if he
is tickled, and break into anger if he is thwarted. The true poet builds
upon eternal foundations. The bookmaker or rhymer is satisfied with
empty or fleeting thoughts and with a passing notoriety. New books are
often caught up and blazoned as classics which a few years reveal as
patchwork and tinsel. Time is a sure test. Showy tinsel rusts and dulls
its lustre, while simple poetic truth shines with growing brightness.

Schlegel, in his "Dramatic Art and Literature," thus contrasts the false
and the true (pp. 18-19):--

"Poetry, taken in its widest acceptation, as the power of creating what
is beautiful, and representing it to the eye or the ear, is a universal
gift of Heaven, being shared to a certain extent even by those whom we
call barbarians and savages. Internal excellence is alone decisive, and
where this exists we must not allow ourselves to be repelled by the
external appearance. Everything must be traced up to the root of human
nature: if it has sprung from thence, it has an undoubted worth of its
own; but if, without possessing a living germ, it is merely externally
attached thereto, it will never thrive nor acquire a proper growth. Many
productions which appear at first sight dazzling phenomena in the
province of the fine arts, and which as a whole have been honored with
the appellation of works of a golden age, resemble the mimic gardens of
children: impatient to witness the work of their hands, they break off
here and there branches and flowers, and plant them in the earth;
everything at first assumes a noble appearance: the childish gardener
struts proudly up and down among his showy beds, till the rootless
plants begin to droop, and hang their withered leaves and blossoms, and
nothing soon remains but the bare twigs, while the dark forest, on which
no art or care was ever bestowed, and which towered up toward heaven
long before human remembrance, bears every blast unshaken, and fills
the solitary beholder with religious awe."

In his "Poets and Problems," George Willis Cooke fitly portrays the
poet's function (pp. 42, 32, and 44):--

"The poet must be either a teacher or an artist; or, what is better, he
may be both in one. Therefore, he can never stop at form or at what
delights and charms merely. He must go on to the expression of something
of deep and real abidingness of thought and beauty. This comes at last
to be the real thing for which he works, which he seeks to bring into
expression with such power and grandeur in it as he can produce, and
which he wills to send forth for the sake of this higher impression on
the world."

"Man has within him a need for the food which does not perish; he always
is finding anew that he cannot live by bread alone. His mind will crave
truth, his heart love, somewhat to satisfy the inward needs of life. A
heavenly homesickness will draw him away from the material to those
æsthetic and spiritual realities which are at the source of the truest
poetry. Whenever these wants find fit interpretation, the poet and the
poetic method of expression appear and give to them outward forms of
beauty. Consequently the poet is

  'One in whom persuasion and belief
  Have ripened into faith, and faith become
  A passionate intuition.'

"The true poet is the man of his time who is most alive, who feels,
sees, and knows the most. In the measure of his life he is the greatest
man of his age and country. His eye sees farther and more clearly; his
heart beats more warmly and with a more universal sympathy; his thought
runs deeper and with a swifter current, than is the case with other men.
He is the oracle and guide, the inspirer and the friend, of those to
whom he sings. He creates life under the ribs of dead tradition; he
illumines the present with heart flames of beaconing truth, and he makes
the future seem like home joys far off, but drawing ever nigher. The
poet is the world's lover."

Emerson found the Greeks standing as close to nature and truth as
himself ("Essay on History"):--

"The costly charm of the ancient tragedy, and indeed of all old
literature, is, that the persons speak simply,--speak as persons who
have great good sense without knowing it, before yet the reflective
habit has become the predominant habit of the mind. Our admiration of
the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural. The Greeks
are not reflective, but perfect in their senses and in their health,
with the finest physical organization in the world. Adults acted with
the simplicity and grace of children."

In his "Defence of Poetry" Shelley says:--

"Poetry thus makes immortal all that is best and most beautiful in the
world; it arrests the vanishing apparitions which haunt the
interlunations of life, and, veiling them or in language or in form,
sends them forth among mankind, bearing sweet news of kindred joy to
those with whom their sisters abide--abide, because there is no portal
of expression from the caverns of the spirit which they inhabit into the
universe of things. Poetry redeems from decay the visitations of the
divinity in man."

Carlyle, in his "Heroes and Hero-worship," portrays the deeper art and
insight of the poet thus:--

"For my own part, I find considerable meaning in the old vulgar
distinction of Poetry being metrical, having music in it, being a Song.
Truly, if pressed to give a definition, one might say this as soon as
anything else: If your delineation be authentically musical, musical not
in word only, but in heart and substance, in all the thoughts and
utterances of it, in the whole conception of it, then it will be
poetical; if not, not. Musical: how much lies in that! A musical thought
is one spoken by a mind that has penetrated into the inmost heart of the
thing; detected the inmost mystery of it, namely the melody that lies
hidden in it; the inward harmony of coherence which is its soul, whereby
it exists, and has a right to be, here in this world. All inmost things,
we may say, are melodious; naturally utter themselves in Song. The
meaning of Song goes deep. Who is there that, in logical words, can
express the effect music has upon us? A kind of inarticulate
unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the Infinite, and
lets us for moments gaze into that!

"Nay all speech, even the commonest speech, has something of song in it:
not a parish in the world but has its parish-accent;--the rhythm or tune
to which the people there sing what they have to say! Accent is a kind
of chanting; all men have accent of their own,--though they only notice
that of others. Observe, too, how all passionate language does of itself
become musical,--with a finer music than the mere accent; the speech of
a man even in zealous anger becomes a chant, a song. All deep things are
Song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, Song; as if all
the rest were but wrappages and hulls. The primal element of us; of us,
and of all things. The Greeks fabled of Sphere-Harmonies: it was the
feeling they had of the inner structure of Nature; that the soul of all
her voices and utterances was perfect music. Poetry, therefore, we will
call musical Thought. The Poet is he who thinks in that manner. At
bottom, it turns still on power of intellect; it is a man's sincerity
and depth of vision that makes him a Poet. See deep enough, and you see
musically; the heart of Nature being everywhere music, if you can only
reach it."

"Or indeed we may say again, it is in what I called Portrait-painting,
delineating of men and things, especially of men, that Shakespeare is
great. All the greatness of the man comes out decisively here. It is
unexampled, I think, that calm creative perspicacity of Shakespeare. The
thing he looks at reveals not this or that face of it, but its inmost
heart, and generic secret: it dissolves itself as in light before him,
so that he discerns the perfect structure of it. Creative, we said:
poetic creation, what is this, too, but seeing the thing sufficiently?
The word that will describe the thing, follows of itself from such clear
intense sight of the thing. And is not Shakespeare's morality, his
valor, candor, tolerance, truthfulness; his whole victorious strength
and greatness, which can triumph over such obstructions, visible there
too? Great as the world! No twisted, poor convex-concave mirror,
reflecting all objects with its own convexities and concavities; a
perfectly level mirror,--that is to say withal, if we will understand
it, a man justly related to all things and men, a good man. It is truly
a lordly spectacle how this great soul takes in all kinds of men and
objects, a Falstaff, an Othello, a Juliet, a Coriolanus; sets them all
forth to us in their round completeness; loving, just, the equal brother
of all. 'Novum Organum,' and all the intellect you will find in Bacon,
is of a quite secondary order; earthy, material, poor in comparison with
this. Among modern men, one finds, in strictness, almost nothing of the
same rank. Goethe alone, since the days of Shakespeare, reminds me of
it. Of him, too, you say that he saw the object; you may say what he
himself says of Shakespeare, 'His characters are like watches with
dial-plates of transparent crystal; they show you the hour like others,
and the inward mechanism also is all visible.'"

"Dante, for depth of sincerity, is like an antique Prophet, too; his
words, like theirs, come from his very heart. One need not wonder if it
were predicted that his Poem might be the most enduring thing our Europe
has yet made; for nothing so endures as a truly spoken word. All
cathedrals, pontificalities, brass and stone, and outer arrangement
never so lasting, are brief in comparison to an unfathomable heart-song
like this: one feels as if it might survive, still of importance to men,
when these had all sunk into new irrecognizable combinations, and had
ceased individually to be. Europe has made much; great cities, great
empires, encyclopædias, creeds, bodies of opinion and practice: but it
has made little of the class of Dante's Thought. Homer yet is, veritably
present face to face with every open soul of us; and Greece, where is
it? Desolate for thousands of years; away, vanished; a bewildered heap
of stones and rubbish, the life and existence of it all gone. Like a
dream; like the dust of King Agamemnon! Greece was; Greece, except in
the words it spoke, is not."

J. C. Shairp, in his "On Poetic Interpretation of Nature" (p. 19),

"The real nature and intrinsic truth of Poetry will be made more
apparent, if we may turn aside for a moment to reflect on the essence of
that state of mind which we call poetic, the genesis of that creation
which we call Poetry. Whenever any object of sense, or spectacle of the
outer world, any truth of reason, or event of past history, any fact of
human experience, any moral or spiritual reality; whenever, in short,
any fact or object which the sense, or the intellect, or the soul, or
the spirit of man can apprehend, comes home to one so as to touch him to
the quick, to pierce him with a more than usual vividness and sense of
reality, then is awakened that stirring of the imagination, that glow of
emotion, in which Poetry is born. There is no truth cognizable by man
which may not shape itself into Poetry."

The passages just quoted are but examples of many that might be cited
expressing the strength and scope of the poetic spirit, its
truth-revealing quality, its penetrating yet comprehensive grasp of the
realities. Shelley says, "A poem is the very image of life expressed in
its eternal truth"; and Wordsworth that poetry is "the breath and finer
spirit of all knowledge." These utterances will hardly be deemed
poetical extravagancies to one who has read such things as the Ninetieth
Psalm, "King Lear," or "The Deserted Village," or "Elaine."

There is no form of inspiring truth which does not find expression in
literature, but it is preëminently a revelation of human life and
experience, a proclamation from the housetops of the supreme beauty and
excellence of truth and virtue. This brings us close to the question of
moral education, and the elements in literature that contribute to this
end. Literary critics are quick to take alarm at the propensity of the
schoolmaster and the moralist to make literature the vehicle of moral
training. To saddle the poets with a moral purpose would be like
changing Pegasus into a plough-horse. But the moral quality in the best
literature is not something saddled on, it is rather like the frame and
muscle which give strength to the body, or, to use a more fitting
figure, it is the very pulse and heart-beat of the highest idealism. The
proneness toward moralizing, toward formal didacticism, can be best of
all corrected by the use of choice literature. The best literature is
free from moral pedantry, but full of moral suggestion and stimulus.
Edmund Clarence Stedman says, in his "Nature and Elements of Poetry" (p.

"The highest wisdom--that of ethics--seems closely affiliated with
poetic truth. A prosaic moral is injurious to virtue, by making it
repulsive. The moment goodness becomes tedious and unideal in a work of
art, it is not real goodness; the would-be artist, though a very saint,
has mistaken his form of expression. On the other hand, extreme beauty
and power in a poem or picture always carry a moral, they are
inseparable from a certain ethical standard; while vice suggests a
depravity.... An obtrusive moral in poetic form is a fraud on its face,
and outlawed of art. But that all great poetry is essentially ethical is
plain from any consideration of Homer, Dante, and the best dramatists
and lyrists, old and new."

In literature, as in life, those persons make the strongest moral
impression who have the least express discussion of morals. Their
actions speak, and the moral qualities appear, not in didactic formality
and isolation, but in their life setting. This is seen in the great
dramas, novels, and epic poems.

These masterpieces are of strong and lasting value to the schools
because they bring out human conduct and character in a rich variety of
forms corresponding to life. Against the background of scenery created
by the poet, men and women and children march along to their varied
performances. Theseus, Ulysses, Crusoe, Aladdin, Alfred, Horatius,
Cinderella, Portia, Evangeline,--they speak and act before us with all
the realism and fidelity to human instincts peculiar to the poet's art.
These men and women, who are set in action before us, stir up all our
dormant thought-energy. We observe and judge their motives and approve
or condemn their actions. We are stirred to sympathy or pity or anger.
Such an intense study of motives and conduct, as offered in literature,
is like a fresh spring from which well up strengthening waters. The
warmth and energy with which judgments are passed upon the deeds of
children and adults is the original source of moral ideas. Literature is
especially rich in opportunities to register these convictions. It is
not the bare knowledge of right and wrong developed, but the deep
springs of feeling and emotion are opened, which gush up into volitions
and acts.

Just as we form opinions of people from their individual acts, and draw
inferences as to their character and motives, so the overt act of Brutus
or of Miles Standish stands out so clear against the background of
passing events that an unerring judgment falls upon the doer. A single
act, seen in its relations, always calls forth such a sentence of good
or ill. Whether it be a gentle deed of mercy, or the hammer-stroke that
fells a giant or routs an army, as with Charles Martel or Alfred, the
sense of right or wrong is the deep underflow that gives meaning to all
events and stamps character.

There is, however, a deeper and more intense moral teaching in
literature than that which flows from the right or wrong of individual
acts. The whole life and evolution of character in a person, if
graphically drawn, reveal the principles of conduct and their fruitage.
Character is a growth. Deeds are only the outward signs of the direction
in which the soul is moving. A dramatist like Shakespeare, or a
novelist like George Eliot, gives us a biographical development. Deeds
are done which leave their traces. Tendencies are formed which grow into
habits, and thus a character ripens steadily toward its reward. We
become conscious that certain deeper principles control thought and
action, whether good or bad. There is a rule of law, a sort of fatalism,
in human life. "The mills of the gods grind slow, but they grind
exceeding small." It is the function of the dramatist or novelist to
reveal these working principles in conduct. When the principle adopted
by the actor is a good one, it works out well-being in spite of
misfortunes; when evil, the furies are on the track of the evil-doer.
Men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. As we move on
from step to step in a life-history, the sympathy deepens. The fatal
influence of a false step, followed up, is keenly felt by the reader;
the upward tendency of a right act inspires and lifts into freedom. But
whether we love or hate or pity, the character moves on in the course
which his deeds mark out. When finally he is overwhelmed in shame and
defeat, we see the early tendencies and later forces which have led to
this result. If ethical triumph is achieved, we recognize the reward of
generous, unselfish impulses followed out.

As the interest in such a life-history deepens, the lessons it evolves
come out with convincing and overwhelming power. The effect of a great
novel or drama is more intense and lasting than any sermon. The
elements of thought and feeling have been accumulating energy and
momentum through all the scenes, and when contracted into a single
current at the close they sweep forward with the strength of a river. A
masterpiece works at the foundations of our sympathies and moral
judgments. To bring ourselves under the spell of a great author and to
allow him, hour after hour and perhaps for days in succession, to sway
our feelings and rule far up among the sources of our moral judgments,
is to give him great opportunity to stamp our character with his
convictions. We seldom spend so many hours in close companionship with a
living friend as with some master of the art of character-delineation.
Children are susceptible to this strong influence. Many of them take
easily to books, and many others need but wise direction to bring them
under the touch of their formative influence. A book sometimes produces
a more lasting effect upon the character and conduct of a child than a
close companion. Nor is this true only in the case of book-lovers. It is
probable that the great majority of children may feel the wholesome
effect of such books if wisely used at the right time. To select a few
of the best books as companions to a child, and teach him to love their
companionship, is one of the most hopeful things in education. The boy
or girl who reads some of our choice epics, stories, novels, dramas, and
biographies, allowing the mind to ponder upon the problems of conduct
involved, will receive many deep and permanent moral lessons. The
realism with which the artist clothes his characters only strengthens
the effect and makes them lasting food for thought in the coming years.
Even in early childhood we are able to detect what is noble and debasing
in conduct as thus graphically and naturally revealed, and a child forms
an unerring judgment along moral lines. The best influence that
literature has to bestow, therefore, may produce its effect early in
tender years, where impressions are deep and permanent. There are many
other elements of lasting culture-value in the study of literature, but
first of all the deep and permanent truths taught by the classics are
those of human life and conduct.

George Willis Cooke gives clear and simple expression to the ethical
force in poetry ("Poets and Problems," p. 46):--

"True poetry is for instruction as much as for pleasure, though it
inculcate no formal lessons. Right moral teaching is by example far more
than by precept; and the real poet teaches through the higher purpose he
arouses, by the stimulus he gives, and by the purer motive he awakens.
He gives no precept to recite, no homilies to con over, no rules for
formal repetition; but he gives the spirit of life and the impulse of
true activity. An infallible test of the great poet is that he inspires
us with a sense of the richness and grandeur of life."

Rooted in the genuine realism of social life, moral ideas are still more
strongly energized by feeling and even by passion. It is doubtful if
moral ideas have any roots that do not reach down into deep and genuine

Ruskin, in "Sesame and Lilies," speaks to the point.

"Having then faithfully listened to the great teachers, that you may
enter into their Thoughts, you have yet this higher advance to
make,--you have to enter into their Hearts. As you go to them first for
clear sight, so you must stay with them that you may share at last their
just and mighty Passion. Passion, or "sensation." I am not afraid of the
word; still less of the thing. You have heard many outcries against
sensation lately; but, I can tell you, it is not less sensation we want,
but more. The ennobling difference between one man and another--between
one animal and another--is precisely in this, that one feels more than
another. If we were sponges, perhaps sensation might not be easily got
for us; if we were earthworms, liable at every instant to be cut in two
by the spade, perhaps too much sensation might not be good for us. But,
being human creatures, it is good for us; nay, we are only human in so
far as we are sensitive, and our honor is precisely in proportion to our

"You know I said of that great and pure society of the dead, that it
would allow 'no vain or vulgar person to enter there.' What do you
think I meant by a 'vulgar' person? What do you yourselves mean by
'vulgarity'? You will find it a fruitful subject of thought; but,
briefly, the essence of all vulgarity lies in want of sensation. Simple
and innocent vulgarity is merely an untrained and undeveloped bluntness
of body and mind; but in true inbred vulgarity, there is a deathful
callousness, which, in extremity, becomes capable of every sort of
bestial habit and crime, without fear, without pleasure, without horror,
and without pity. It is in the blunt hand and the dead heart, in the
diseased habit, in the hardened conscience, that men become vulgar; they
are forever vulgar, precisely in proportion as they are incapable of
sympathy,--of quick understanding,--of all that, in deep insistence on
the common, but most accurate term, may be called the 'tact' or
touch-faculty of body and soul; that tact which the Mimosa has in trees,
which the pure woman has above all creatures,--fineness and fulness of
sensation, beyond reason,--the guide and sanctifier of reason itself.
Reason can but determine what is true: it is the God-given passion of
humanity which alone can recognize what God has made good.

"We come then to the great concourse of the Dead, not merely to know
from them what is True, but chiefly to feel with them, what is
Righteous. Now to feel with them we must be like them; and none of us
can become that without pains. As the true knowledge is disciplined and
tested knowledge,--not the first thought that comes,--so the true
passion is disciplined and tested passion,--not the first passion that

When we add to this deep feeling and sympathy the versatile poetic
imagination which freely constructs all phases of social life and
conduct, we have that union of the great powers of the mind and heart
which give such concentrated ethical energy to the best literature.

Shelley, in his "Defence of Poetry" (pp. 13-14, 20), says:--

"The whole objection, however, of the immorality of poetry rests upon a
misconception of the manner in which poetry acts to produce the moral
improvement of man. Ethical science arranges the elements which poetry
has created, and propounds schemes and proposes examples of civil and
domestic life; nor is it for want of admirable doctrines that men hate,
and despise, and censure, and deceive, and subjugate one another. But
poetry acts in another and diviner manner. It awakens and enlarges the
mind itself by rendering it the receptacle of a thousand unapprehended
combinations of thought. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of
the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar;
it reproduces all that it represents, and the impersonations clothed in
its Elysian light stand thenceforward in the minds of those who have
once contemplated them, as memorials of that gentle and exalted content
which extends itself over all thoughts and actions with which it
coexists. The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our own
nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which
exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly
good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in
the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his
species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the
imagination; and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the

"The drama being that form under which a greater number of modes of
expression of poetry are susceptible of being combined than any other,
the connection of poetry and social good is more observable in the drama
than in whatever other form. And it is indisputable that the highest
perfection of human society has ever corresponded with the highest
dramatic excellence; and that the corruption or the extinction of the
drama in a nation where it has once flourished, is a mark of corruption
of manners, and an extinction of the energies which sustain the soul of
social life."

The inseparable union of the intellectual, moral, and imaginative
elements is well expressed by Shairp in his "On Poetic Interpretation
of Nature" (pp. 23-24):--

"Imagination in its essence seems to be, from the first, intellect and
feeling blended and interpenetrating each other. Thus it would seem that
purely intellectual acts belong to the surface and outside of our
nature,--as you pass onward to the depths, the more vital places of the
soul, the intellectual, the emotional, and the moral elements are all
equally at work,--and this in virtue of their greater reality, their
more essential truth, their nearer contact with the centre of things. To
this region belong all acts of high imagination--the region intermediate
between pure understanding and moral affection, partaking of both
elements, looking equally both ways."

Besides the moral element or fundamental truth involved, every classic
masterpiece is infused therefore with an element of imagination. Whether
in prose or verse, the artist reveals himself in the creative touch. The
rich coloring and imagery of his own mind give a tint to every object.
The literary artist is never lacking in a certain, perhaps indefinable,
charm. He possesses a magic wand that transforms into beauty every
commonplace object that is met. We observe this in Irving, Hawthorne,
Warner, as well as in still greater literary masters. Our poets,
novelists, and essayists must all dip their pens in this magic ink. Even
Webster and Burke, Lincoln and Sumner, must rise to the region of fancy
if they give their thought sufficient strength of wing to carry it into
the coming years. The themes upon which they discoursed kindled the
imagination and caused them to break forth into figures of speech and
poetic license. The creative fancy is that which gives beauty,
picturesqueness, and charm to all the work of poet or novelist. This
element of fancy diffuses itself as a living glow through every classic
product that was made to endure. In the masters of style the rhythmic
flow and energy of language are enlivened by poetic imagery. Figures of
speech in architectural simplicity and chasteness stand out to symbolize
thought. That keenness and originality which astonishes us in master
thinkers is due to the magic vigor and picturesqueness of their images.
Underneath and permeating all this wealth of ideas is the versatile and
original mind which sees everything in the glow of its own poetic
temperament, kindling the susceptible reader to like inspiration. Among
literary masters this creative power shows itself in an infinite variety
of forms, pours itself through a hundred divergent channels, and links
itself so closely with the individuality of the writer as to merge
imperceptibly into his character and style. But as we cannot secure
wholesome bread without yeast, so we shall fail of a classic without

Stedman says: "If anything great has been achieved without exercise of
the imagination, I do not know it. I am referring to striking
productions and achievements, not to acts of virtue. Nevertheless, at
the last analysis, it might be found that imagination has impelled even
the saints and martyrs of humanity. Imagination is the creative origin
of what is fine, not in art and song alone, but also in all forms of
action--in campaigns, civil triumphs, material conquest. I have
mentioned its indispensability to the scientists." He says further: "Yet
if there is one gift which sets Shakespeare at a distance even from
those who approach him on one or another side, it is that of his
imagination. As he is the chief of poets, we infer that the faculty in
which he is supereminent must be the greatest of poetic endowments. Yes:
in his wonderland, as elsewhere, imagination is king."

Not only is it true that the vitality of poets and prose writers, the
conceptive power of scientists, inventors, and business organizers,
depend upon the fertility and strength of the imagination, but
throughout the broader reaches of common humanity this power is
everywhere present--constructive and creative. Max Müller has shown that
the root words of language are imbedded in metaphor, that "Language is
fossil poetry." Again, the mythologies of the different races, grand and
stately, or fair and lovely, are the immediate product of the folk

It has been said that "The man of culture is preëminently a man of
imagination." But the kind of mental alertness, freedom, and joy which
is suggested by the term _culture_ may spring up in the heart of every
boy and girl endowed with a modicum of human nature. Hamilton Wright
Mabie, in his "Books and Culture" (pp. 148-149), says:--

"The development of the imagination, upon the power of which both
absorption of knowledge and creative capacity depend, is, therefore, a
matter of supreme importance. To this necessity educators will some day
open their eyes, and educational systems will some day conform;
meantime, it must be done mainly by individual work. Knowledge,
discipline, and technical training of the best sort are accessible on
every hand; but the development of the faculty which unites all these in
the highest form of activity must be secured mainly by personal effort.
The richest and most accessible material for this highest education is
furnished by art; and the form of art within reach of every civilized
man, at all times, in all places, is the book. To these masterpieces,
which have been called the books of life, all men may turn with the
assurance that as the supreme achievements of the imagination they have
the power of awakening, stimulating, and enriching it in the highest

Besides the strong thread of truth and the work of the swift-glancing
shuttle of imagination, the woven fabric of the literary master must
show a beauteous pattern or form. The melody and music of poetry spring
from a rhythmic form. Apparently stiff and formal, it is yet the
consensus of critics that only through this channel can the soul of
truth and beauty escape from the poet, and manifest itself to others.
Says George Willis Cooke, "The poet worships at the triple shrine of
beauty, love, and truth; and his mission is to teach men that all other
objects and places of veneration are but faint imitations of this one
form of faith." But the spirit of this worship can best embody itself in
the poetic form.

Schlegel, in his "Dramatic Art and Literature" (p. 340), says:--

"The works of genius cannot therefore be permitted to be without form;
but of this there is no danger.... [Some] critics ... interpret it
[form] merely in a mechanical, and not in an organical sense....
Organical form, again, is innate; it unfolds itself from within, and
acquires its determination contemporaneously with the perfect
development of the germ. We everywhere discover such forms in nature
throughout the whole range of living powers, from the crystallization of
salts and minerals to plants and flowers, and from these again to the
human body. In the fine arts, as well as in the domain of nature,--the
supreme artist,--all genuine forms are organical, that is, determined by
the quality of the work. In a word, the form is nothing but a
significant exterior, the speaking physiognomy of each thing, which, as
long as it is not disfigured by any destructive accident, gives a true
evidence of its hidden essence."

Some products, like the "Paradise Lost," "Thanatopsis," and "Hamlet,"
show such a perfect fitness of form to thought that every effort to
change or modify is profanation. The classic form and thought go
together. As far as possible, therefore, it is desirable to leave these
creations in their native strength, and not to mar the work of masters.
The poet has moulded his thought and feeling into these forms and
transfused them with his own imagery and individuality. The power of the
writer is in his peculiar mingling of the poetic elements. Our English
and American classics, therefore, should be read in their original form
as far as possible.

A fixed form is not always necessary. We need many of the stories and
epics that were written in other languages. Fortunately some of the
works of the old poets are capable of taking on a new dress. The story
of Ulysses has been told in verse and prose, in translation, paraphrase,
and simple narrative for children. Much, indeed of the old beauty and
original strength of the poem is lost in all these renderings; but the
central truths which give the poetic work its persistent value are still
retained. Such a poem is like a person; the underlying thought, though
dressed up by different persons with varying taste and skill, is yet the
same; the same heart beats beneath the kingly robes and the peasant's
frock. Robinson Crusoe has had many renderings, but remains the same old
story in spite of variations. The Bible has been translated into all
modern tongues, but it is a classic in each. The Germans claim they have
as good a Shakespeare as we.

But many of the best masterpieces were originally written in other
languages, and to be of use to us the ancient form of thought must be
broken. The spirit of the old masters must be poured into new moulds. In
educating our children we need the stories of Bellerophon, Perseus,
Hercules, Rustum, Tell, Siegfried, Virginius, Roland, Wallace, King
Arthur. Happily some of the best modern writers have come to our help.
Walter Scott, Macaulay, Dickens, Kingsley, Hawthorne, Irving, and Arnold
have gathered up the old wine and poured it into new bottles. They have
told the old stories in simple Anglo-Saxon for the boys and girls of our
homes and schools. Nor are these renderings of the old masters lacking
in that element of fancy and vigor of expression which distinguishes
fertile writers. They have entered freely and fondly into the old
spirit, and have allowed it to pour itself copiously through these
modern channels. It takes a poet, in fact, to modernize an ancient
story. There are, indeed, many renderings of the old stories which are
not ideal, which, however, we sometimes use for lack of anything better.

From the preceding discussion we may conclude that a choice piece of
literature must embody a lasting truth, reveal the permeating glow of an
artist's imagination, and find expression in some form of beauty. But
these elements are so mingled and interlaced, so organically grown into
one living plant, that even the critics have given up the effort to
dissect and isolate them.

There are other strength-conferring qualities in good literature which
will be discussed more fully in those chapters which deal with the
particular literary materials selected for use in the schools.

Among the topics to be treated in connection with materials which
illustrate them, are the following: the strong handling of essential
historical ideas in literature; the best novel and drama, as sources and
means of culture; religious ideals as embodied in the choicest forms of
literature; the powerful patriotic and social influence of the best
writers; the educative quality of the humorous phases of literature; the
great writers as models of skill and enthusiasm in teaching.

In the foregoing pages the significance of literature among great
studies has been but briefly and inadequately suggested by these few
quotations and comments. It would be easy to multiply similar testimony
from the most competent judges. But enough has been said to remind
teachers of this rich treasure house of educative materials. Those
teachers who wish to probe deeper into this subject will find that it
has been handled in a masterly way by some of the great essayists and
critics. We will suggest the following for more elaborate study:--

Ruskin's "Sesame and Lilies." The power and charm of Ruskin's writing
appears in full measure in these essays.

Carlyle's "Heroes and Hero Worship," especially the chapters on "The
Hero as Poet," and "The Hero as Man of Letters."

Shelley's "Defence of Poetry" (edited by Cook, and published by Ginn &
Co.) is a literary masterpiece of rare beauty and charm.

Emerson's "Essay on History."

George Willis Cooke, "Poets and Problems" (Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.).
The first chapter, "The Poet as Teacher," is very suggestive, while the
chapters on Tennyson, Ruskin, and Browning are fine introductions for
those who will study the authors themselves.

"The Book Lover," James Baldwin (McClurg & Co.).

Charles Kingsley's "Literary and General Essays" (Macmillan & Co.).
Chapter on "English Literature," and others.

Scudder's "Literature in Schools" (Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.). Excellent
for teachers.

J. C. Shairp, "On Poetic Interpretation of Nature" (Houghton, Mifflin, &

Matthew Arnold's "Sweetness and Light."

Lowell's "Books and Libraries" (Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.).

Edmund Clarence Stedman's "The Nature and Elements of Poetry" (Houghton,
Mifflin, & Co.).

It is not implied that even the essays of critics on the merits of
literature can take the place of a study of the works of the best



With the increasing tendency to consider the literary quality and
fitness of the reading matter used in our schools, longer poems and
stories, like "Snow Bound," "Rip Van Winkle," "Hiawatha," "Aladdin,"
"The Courtship of Miles Standish," "The Great Stone Face," and even
"Lady of the Lake" and "Julius Cæsar," are read and studied as complete
wholes. Many of the books now used as readers are not collections of
short selections and extracts, as formerly, but editions of single
poems, or kindred groups, like "Sohrab and Rustum," or the "Arabian
Nights," or "Gulliver's Travels," or a collection of a few complete
stories or poems of a single author, as Hawthorne's "Stories of the
White Hills," or Lowell's "Vision of Sir Launfal," and other poems. Even
the regular series of readers are often made up largely of longer poems
and prose masterpieces.

The significance of this change is the deeper regard which is being paid
to good literature as a strong agency of true culture. The real thought
and the whole thought of the best authors is sought for, presupposing,
of course, that they are within the range of the children's
comprehension. The reading books of a generation ago contained
oftentimes just as choice literary materials as now; but the chief
purpose of its selection was to give varied exercise in oral reading,
not to cultivate a taste for good literature by furnishing complete
poetic and prose specimens for full and enthusiastic study. The teachers
who lay stress on elocutionary skill are not quite satisfied with this
drift toward literary study as such. It remains to be seen how both
aims, good oral rendering and superior literary training, can be secured
at the same time.

At the close of the last chapter of this volume we give a carefully
selected series of the literary materials adapted to the different
grades. This body of selections, taken from a wide range of literature,
will constitute a basis for our whole treatise. Having made plain by our
previous discussion what we understand by the quality of literary
masterpieces, we will next consider why these poems and stories should
be read and studied as complete wholes, not by fragments or by extracts,
but as whole works of literary art.

1. A stronger interest is developed by the study, for several weeks, of
a longer complete masterpiece. The interest grows as we move into such a
story or poem as "Sohrab and Rustum." A longer and closer acquaintance
with the characters represented produces a stronger personal sympathy,
as in the case of Cordelia in "King Lear," or of Silas Marner. The time
usually spent in school upon some classic fragment or selection is
barely sufficient to start up an interest. It does not bring us past the
threshold of a work of art. We drop it just at the point where the
momentum of interest begins to show itself. Think of the full story of
Aladdin or Crusoe or Ulysses. Take an extract from "Lady of the Lake,"
"Rip Van Winkle," "Evangeline." The usual three or four pages given in
the reader, even if taken from the first part, would scarcely suffice to
bring the children into the movement of the story; but oftentimes the
fragment is extracted from the body of the play without preliminary or
sequence. In reading a novel, story, or poem, we do not begin to feel
strongly this interest till two or three chapters are passed. Then it
begins to deepen, the plot thickens, and a desire springs up to follow
out the fortune of the characters. We become interested in the persons,
and our thoughts are busy with them in the midst of other employments or
in leisure moments. The personality of the hero takes hold of us as that
of an intimate friend. Such an interest, gradually awakened and deepened
as we move into the comprehension of a work of art, is the open sesame
to all the riches of an author's storehouse of thought.

This kind of interest presupposes in the children the ability to
appreciate and enjoy the thought, and even the style, of the author.
Interest in this sense is a fundamental test of the suitableness of the
story or poem to lay hold of the inner life of the children. In many
cases there will be difficulties at the outset in awakening this genuine
form of interest, but if the selection is appropriate, the preparation
and skill of the teacher will be equal to its accomplishment.

As we get deeper into the study of masterpieces, we shall discover that
there are stronger and deepening sources of a genuine interest. Even the
difficulties and problems which are supposed to dampen interest will be
found, with proper study, to be the source of a stronger appreciation
and enthusiasm. The refining and strengthening of these interests in
literature leads on steadily to the final goal of study, a cultivated
taste and habit of using the best books.

2. A complete work of a master writer is a unit of thought. It is almost
as complete a whole as a living organism. Its parts, like the branches
of a tree, have no vitality except in communication with the living
trunk. In the "Vision of Sir Launfal," there is a single thought, like a
golden thread, running through the poem, which gives unity and
perfection to it. The separate parts of the poem have very great
intrinsic beauty and charm, but their deeper and more vital relation is
to this central thought. The story of "The Great Stone Face" is the
grouping of a series of interesting episodes along the path of a single
developing motive in the life of Ernest. A great writer would scarcely
waste his time in trying to produce a work of art without a controlling
motive, collecting his thought, as it were, around a vacuum. This
hub-thought must become the centre of all intelligent study. The effort
to unravel the motive of the author is the deeper stimulus of thoughtful
work by both teacher and pupils.

In other studies, like geography, history, and natural science, we are
gradually picking out the important units of study, the centres of
thought and interest, the types. This effort to escape from the
wilderness of jumbled and fractional details into the sunlit region of
controlling ideas, is a substantial sign of progress in the teacher's
work. In literature these units have been already wrought out into
perfect wholes by first-class thinkers.

In the greatest of all studies, the works of the literary masters, we
have the surest models of inspiring thought, organized and focussed upon
essential topics. Teachers, in some cases, are so little accustomed to
lift their heads above the tall grass and weeds around them, that they
are overtaken by surprise and bewilderment when called upon to take
broad and liberal surveys of the topography of school studies.

It is fortunate that we have, within the fenced boundaries of the
commonly recognized school course, these shining specimens of organized,
and, what we might call, intelligent thought.

We can set the children at work digging for the root-thoughts of those
who are the masters of strong thinking. This digging process is not
wholly out of place with children. Their abundant energy can be turned
to digging if there is anything worth digging for. Ruskin, in "Sesame
and Lilies," says:--

"And it is just the same with men's best wisdom. When you come to a good
book, you must ask yourself: 'Am I inclined to work as an Australian
miner would? Are my pickaxes and shovels in good order, and am I in good
trim myself, my sleeves well up to the elbow, and my breath good, and my
temper?' And, keeping the figure a little longer, even at cost of
tiresomeness, for it is a thoroughly useful one, the metal you are in
search of, being the author's mind or meaning, his words are as the rock
which you have to crush and smelt in order to get at it. And your
pickaxes are your own care, wit and learning; your smelting furnace is
your own thoughtful soul. Do not hope to get at any good author's
meaning without those tools and that fire; often you will need sharpest,
finest chiselling, and patientest fusing, before you can gather one
grain of the metal."

It is not the dreamy, hammock-soothing, vacation idling with pleasant
stories that we are now considering. This happy lotus-land has also its
fitting season, in the sultry heats of summer, when tired people put
their minds out to grass. Any study will grow dull and sleepy that lacks

Teachers who shrink back with anxiety lest works such as Irving's
"Sketch Book," "Evangeline," "Merchant of Venice," and "Marmion," are
too hard for children in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, should
consider for a moment what classical preparatory schools for centuries
have required of boys from ten to twelve years of age, the study of
"Cæsar," "Eutropius," and "Virgil," of "Herodotus" and "Xenophon," in
unknown languages extremely difficult to master. Yet it has been
claimed for ages, by the best scholars, that this was the true
strength-producing discipline for boys. It would hardly be extravagant
to say that the masterpieces of literature now used, in our intermediate
and grammar grades, are not a quarter so difficult and four times as
appropriate and interesting as the Latin and Greek authors just cited.
It seems obvious that we are summoned to a more energetic study and
treatment of our masterpieces.

This struggle to get at the deeper undercurrent of thought in an author
is the true stimulus and discipline of such studies.

A great author approaches his deeper thought step by step. He has many
side-lights, variety of episode and preliminary. He provides for the
proper scenery and setting for his thought. He does not bring us at
once, point blank, upon his hero or upon the hero's fate. There is
great variety of inference and suggestion in the preparation and
grouping of the artist's work. As in climbing some mountain peak, we
wind through cañon, along rugged hillsides and spurs, only now and then
catching a glimpse of the towering object of our climb, reaching, after
many a devious and toilsome march, the rugged backbone of the giant; so
the poet carries us along many a winding road, through byways and
thickets, over hill and plain, before he brings us into full view of the
main object of search. But after awhile we do stand face to face with a
real character, and are conscious of the framework upon which it is
built. King Saul has run his course and is about to reap the reward of
his doings, to lie down in the bed which he has prepared. We see the
author's deeper plan, and realize that his characters act along the line
of the silent but invincible laws of social life and conduct. These deep
significant truths of human experience do not lie upon the surface. If
we are really to get a deep insight into human character, as portrayed
by the masters, we must not be in haste. We should be willing to follow
our guide patiently and await results.

A complete masterpiece, studied as a whole, reveals the author's power.
It gives some adequate perception of his style and compass. A play, a
poem, a novel, a biography, is a unit. No single part can give a
satisfactory idea of the whole. A single scene from "Crusoe" or from
the "Merchant of Venice" does not give us the author's meaning. An
extract from one of Burke's speeches supplies no adequate notion of his
statesmanlike grasp of thought. To get some impression of what Daniel
Webster was we must read a whole speech. A literary product is like a
masterpiece of architecture. The whole must stand out in the due
proportion of its parts to reveal the master's thought.

  "Walk about Zion, and go round about her:
  Tell the towers thereof.
  Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces;
  That ye may tell it to the generations following."

To have read through with care and thoughtful appreciation a single
literary masterpiece and to have felt the full measure of a master's
power, is a rare and lasting stroke of culture. As children move up
through the grades they may receive the strong and abiding impress of
the masters of style. Let it come to them in its undiminished strength.
To feel the powerful tonic effect of the best stories and poems suited
to their age will give them such an appreciation of what is genuine and
good in literature, that frivolous and trashy reading is measured at its
true value.

The fragments and extracts with which our higher readers are filled are
not without power and influence upon culture. They have given many
children their first taste of the beauty and strength of literature.
But it is a great mistake to tear these gems of thought from their
setting in literature and life, and to jam them into the close and
crowded quarters of a text-book. Why satisfy ourselves with crumbs and
fragments when a full rich feast may be had for the asking?

In some cases it is said that the reading of fragments of large poems or
plays has excited curiosity and led to the reading of the larger wholes.
This is doubtless true, but in the greater number of cases we are
inclined to think the habit of being satisfied with fragments has
checked the formation of any appreciation of literary wholes. This
tendency to be satisfied with piecemeal performances illustrates
painfully the shallowness and incoherency of much of our educational
work. If teachers cannot think beyond a broken page of Shakespeare, why
should children burden themselves with the labor of thought? Charles
Kingsley, in his essay on English literature, says:--

"But I must plead for whole works. 'Extracts' and 'Select Beauties' are
about as practical as the worthy in the old story, who, wishing to sell
his house, brought one of the bricks to market as a specimen. It is
equally unfair on the author and on the pupil; for it is impossible to
show the merits or demerits of a work of art, even to explain the truth
or falsehood of any particular passage, except by viewing the book as an
organic whole."

What would the authors themselves say upon seeing their work thus
mutilated? There is even a touch of the farcical in the effort to read
naturally and forcibly and discuss intelligently a fragment like
Antony's speech over Cæsar.

3. The moral effect of a complete masterpiece is deeper and more
permanent. Not only do we see a person acting in more situations,
revealing thus his motives and hidden springs of action, but the thread
of his thought and life is unravelled in a steady sequence. Later acts
are seen as the result of former tendencies. The silent reign of moral
law in human actions is discovered. Slowly but surely conduct works out
its own reward along the line of these deeper principles of action. Even
in the books read in the early grades these profound lessons of life
come out clear and strong. Robinson Crusoe, Theseus, Siegfried,
Hiawatha, Beauty and the Beast, Jason, King Arthur, and Ulysses are not
holiday guests. They are face to face with the serious problems of life.
Each person is seen in the present make-up and tendency of his
character. When the eventual wind-up comes, be it a collapse or an
ascension, we see how surely and fatally such results spring from such
motives and tendencies. Washington is found to be the first in the
hearts of his countrymen; Arnold is execrated; King Lear moves on
blindly to the reward which his own folly has prearranged; Macbeth
entangles himself in a network of fatal errors; Adam Bede emerges from
the bitter ordeal of disappointment with his manly qualities subdued but
stronger. Give the novelist or poet time and opportunity, and he is the
true interpreter of conduct and destiny. He reveals in real and yet
ideal characters the working out in life of the fundamental principles
of moral action.

4. A classic work is often a picture of an age, a panoramic survey of an
historical epoch. Scott's "Marmion" is such a graphic and dramatic
portrayal of feudalism in Scotland. The castle with its lord,
attendants, and household, the steep frowning walls and turrets, the
moat, drawbridge, and dungeon, the chapel, halls, and feastings, the
knight clad in armor, on horseback with squire and troop,--these are the
details of the first picture. The cloister and nuns, with their
sequestered habits and dress, their devotion and masses, supply the
other characteristic picture of that age, with Rome in the background.
The court scene and ball in King James's palace, before the day of
Flodden, the view of Scotland's army from the mountain side, with the
motley hordes from highland and lowland and neighboring isles, and
lastly, the battle of Flodden itself, where wisdom is weighed and valor
put to the final test,--all these are but the parts of a well-adjusted
picture of life in feudal times on the Scottish border. There is
incidental to the narrative much vivid description of Scotch scenery
and geography, of mountain or valley, of frowning castle or rocky coast,
much of Scotch tradition, custom, superstition, and clannishness. The
scenes in cloister and dungeon and on the battle-field are more
intensely real than historical narratives can be. While not strict
history, this is truer than history because it brings us closer to the
spirit of that time. Marmion and Douglas stand out more clear and
lifelike than the men of history.

Although feudalism underwent constant changes and modifications in every
country of Europe, it is still true that "Marmion" is a type of feudal
conditions, not only in Scotland, but in other parts of Europe, and a
full perception of Scott's poem will make one at home in any part of
European history during feudal times. As a historical picture of life,
it is a key to the spirit and animating ideas that swayed the Western
nations during several centuries. It is fiction, not history, in the
usual sense, and yet it gives a more real and vivid consciousness of the
forces at work in that age than history proper.

While the plot of the story covers a narrow field, only a few days of
time and a small area of country, its roots go deep into the whole
social, religious, and political fabric of that time. It touches real
history at a critical point in the relations between England and
Scotland. It is stirred also by the spirit of the Scotch bard and of
minstrelsy. It shows what a hold Rome had in those days, even in the
highlands of Scotland. It is full of Scotch scenery and geography. It
rings with the clarion of war and of battle. It reveals the contempt in
which letters were held even by the most powerful nobles. Oxen are
described as drawing cannon upon the field of Flodden, and in time these
guns broke down the walls of feudalism. As a historical picture Marmion
is many-sided, and the roots of the story reach out through the whole
fabric of society, showing how all the parts cohere. Such a piece of
historical literature may serve as a centre around which to gather much
and varied information through other school and home readings. Children
may find time to read "Ivanhoe," "The Crusades," "Roland," "Don
Quixote," "The Golden Legend," "Macbeth," "Goetz von Berlichingen," etc.
They will have a nucleus upon which to gather many related facts and
ideas. It should also be brought into proper connection with the regular
lessons in history and geography. History reveals itself to the poet in
these wonderfully vivid and lifelike types. In many of these historical
poems, as "William Tell," "Evangeline," "Crusoe," "The Nibelung Song,"
"Miles Standish," the "Odyssey," "Sohrab and Rustum," some hero stands
in the centre of the narrative, and can be understood as a
representative figure of his times only as the whole series of events in
his life is unrolled.

Where the study of larger literary wholes has been taken up in good
faith, it has brought a rich blessing of intelligent enthusiasm. Even
in primary schools, where literary wholes like "Hiawatha," "Robinson
Crusoe," and the "Golden Touch" are handled with a view to exploit their
whole content, there has been a remarkable enrichment of the whole life
of the children. Such a treatment has gone so deep into the problems and
struggling conditions of life delineated, that the children have become
occupied with the tent-making, boat-building, spinning, and various
constructions incident to the development of the story.

5. If it is true, as clearly expressed by strong thinkers in the most
various fields of deeper investigation, that many of the chief literary
products that have come down to us from former ages are the only means
by which we can be brought into vital touch and sympathy with the spirit
and motives then ruling among men; if it is equally true that children
will not grow up to the proper appreciation and interpretation of our
present life, except as they have experienced, in thought and interest
at least, the chief struggles and motives of our fathers,--we may find
in these historic and literary materials the deep and living springs of
true education for children.

The thought of the educative power of this ancestral literature has been
forcibly expressed by many eminent writers.

Scudder, in "Literature in School," says:--

"There is the element of continuity. In the Roman household there stood
the cinerary urns which held the ashes of the ancestors of the family.
Do you think the young ever forgot the unbroken line of descent by which
they climbed to the heroic founders of the state? In the Jewish family
the child was taught to think and speak of the God of Abraham, and of
Isaac, and of Jacob. In that great succession he heard a voice which
told him his nation was not of a day. It is the business of the old to
transmit to the young the great traditions of the past of the country;
to feed anew the undying flame of patriotism.

"It is this concentration in poetry and the more lofty prose which gives
to literary art its preciousness as a symbol of human endeavor, and
renders it the one essential and most serviceable means for keeping
alive the smouldering coals of patriotism. It is the torch passed from
one hand to another, signaling hope and warning; and the one place above
all others where its light should be kindled is where the young meet
together, in those American temples which the people have built in every
town and village in the country."

Mabie, in "Books and Culture" (pp. 88, 89-113), says:--

"Now, it is upon this imperishable food which the past has stored up
through the genius of great artists that later generations feed and
nourish themselves. It is through intimate contact with these
fundamental conceptions, worked out with such infinite pain and
patience, that the individual experience is broadened to include the
experience of the race."

"The student of literature, therefore, finds in its noblest works not
only the ultimate results of race experience and the characteristic
quality of race genius, but the highest activity of the greatest minds
in their happiest and most expansive moments. In this commingling of the
best that is in the race and the best that is in the individual, lies
the mystery of that double revelation which makes every work of art a
disclosure, not only of the nature of the man behind it, but of all men
behind him. In this commingling, too, is preserved the most precious
deposit of what the race has been and done, and of what the man has
seen, felt, and known. In the nature of things no educational material
can be richer, none so fundamentally expansive and illuminative."

Emerson, in his "Essay on History," says:--

"The advancing man discovers how deep a property he has in
literature,--in all fable as well as in all history. He finds that the
poet was no odd fellow who described strange and impossible situations,
but that universal man wrote by his pen a confession true for one and
true for all. His own secret biography he finds in lines wonderfully
intelligible to him, dotted down before he was born. One after another
he comes up in his private adventures with every fable of Æsop, of
Homer, of Hafiz, of Ariosto, of Chaucer, of Scott, and verifies them
with his own head and hands.

"The beautiful fables of the Greeks, being proper creations of the
imagination and not of the fancy, are universal verities. What a range
of meanings and what perpetual pertinence has the story of Prometheus!
Besides its primary value as the first chapter of the history of Europe
(the mythology thinly veiling authentic facts, the invention of the
mechanic arts and the migration of colonies), it gives the history of
religion with some closeness to the faith of later ages."

"Thus in all ways does the soul concentrate and reproduce its treasures
for each pupil. He, too, shall pass through the whole cycle of
experience. He shall collect into a focus the rays of nature. History no
longer shall be a dull book. It shall walk incarnate in every just and
wise man. You shall not tell me by languages and titles a catalogue of
the volumes you have read. You shall make me feel what periods you have
lived. A man shall be the Temple of Fame. He shall walk, as the poets
have described that goddess, in a robe painted all over with wonderful
events and experiences; his own form and features by their exalted
intelligence shall be that variegated vest. I shall find in him the
Foreworld; in his childhood the Age of Gold; the Apples of Knowledge;
the Argonautic Expedition; the calling of Abraham; the building of the
Temple; the Advent of Christ; Dark Ages; the Revival of Letters; the
Reformation; the discovery of new lands; the opening of new sciences,
and new regions in man."

6. It is not intended to limit the reading of the schools to the longer
classics, such as "Snow-Bound," "The Vision of Sir Launfal," and
Webster's Bunker Hill speech, etc. There are also many shorter poems and
stories, ballads, and myths, that are equally good and stand out as
strong, complete expressions of thought such as Tennyson's "Brook,"
Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith," Whittier's "Barefoot Boy," and many
others. These shorter pieces should be interspersed among the longer,
and freely used to give greater variety and zest to reading exercises.
Many of the finest literary products of the language are found in these
shorter poems and stories. They also should be studied for the beauty
and unity of thought contained in each.

7. But the _sustained power_ gained from the full and rich study of
longer classics is the best fruitage of the reading work. Every term of
school should lead the children into the full appreciation of one or
more of these masterly works. The value of such study is well expressed
by Scudder in his "Literature in Schools" (pp. 54-56):--

"The real point of practical reform, however, is not in the preference
of American authors to English, but in the careful concentration of the
minds of boys and girls upon standard American literature, in
opposition to a dissipation over a desultory and mechanical acquaintance
with scraps from a variety of sources, good, bad, and indifferent. In my
paper on 'Nursery Classics in School,' I argued that there is a true
economy in substituting the great books of that portion of the world's
literature which represents the childhood of the world's mind for the
thin, quickly forgotten, feeble imaginations of insignificant
bookmakers. There is an equally noble economy in engaging the child's
mind, when it is passing out of an immature state into one of rational,
intelligent appropriation of literature, upon such carefully chosen
classic work as shall invigorate and deepen it. There is plenty of
vagrancy in reading; the public libraries and cheap papers are
abundantly able to satisfy the truant: but it ought to be recognized
once for all that the schools are to train the mind into appreciation of
literature, not to amuse it with idle diversion; to this end, the
simplest and most direct method is to place before boys and girls for
their regular task in reading, not scraps from this and that author,
duly paragraphed and numbered, but a wisely selected series of works by
men whom their country honors, and who have made their country worth
living in.

"The continuous reading of a classic is in itself a liberal education;
the fragmentary reading of commonplace lessons in minor morals, such as
make up much of our reading-books, is a pitiful waste of growing mental
powers. Even were our reading-books composed of choice selections from
the highest literature, they would still miss the very great advantage
which follows upon the steady growth of acquaintance with a sustained
piece of literary art. I do not insist, of course, that 'Evangeline'
should be read at one session of the school, though it would be
exceedingly helpful in training the powers of the mind if, after this
poem had been read day by day for a few weeks, it were to be taken up
first in its separate thirds, and then in an entire reading. What I
claim is that the boy or girl who has read 'Evangeline' through steadily
has acquired a certain power in appropriating literature which is not to
be had by reading a collection of minor poems,--the power of
long-sustained attention and interest."

8. The study of literary wholes, whether longer or shorter, in the
common school is based upon the notion that the full, rich thought of
the author is the absorbing purpose of our effort. Literature is a
reservoir of mental refinement and riches, for the gaining of which we
can afford to sacrifice many things and make many even good things
subordinate. The words of the wise man in recommending wisdom to the
sons of men are not inappropriate: "Hear; for I will speak of excellent
things and the opening of my lips shall be right things, and wickedness
is an abomination to my lips. Receive my instruction and not silver; and
knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies;
and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it."

To get at the wisdom of the best thinkers of the world, so far as it is
accessible to children, is the straightforward aim of such study. The
teachers of reading, if they but realized it, are the guardians of a
temple more beautiful than the Parthenon in the days of Pericles, more
impressive than the sacred towers and porticos at Jerusalem; they are
the custodians of a treasure far more rich and lasting than that in any
palace of a king. Such comparisons, indeed, are almost belittling to the
dignity of our subject. How noble and vast is the temple of literature!
What single mind can grasp its proportions or the boundless beauty of
its decorations? Moreover, it is a living temple, ever springing up
afresh, in all its pristine strength and beauty, whereever minds are
found reverent, studious, and thoughtful.

9. The old proverb suggests that we "beware of the man of one book," and
is significant of a strong practical truth. Our modern life demands a
somewhat broader basis of operations than one book can furnish. But a
few of the great books, well mastered, give the main elements of

Mabie has a short chapter on the "Books of Life" which "include the
original, creative, first-hand books in all literatures, and constitute
in the last analysis a comparatively small group, with which any
student can thoroughly familiarize himself. The literary impulse of the
race has expressed itself in a great variety of works of varying charm
and power, but the books which are fountain-heads of vitality, ideas,
and beauty are few in number."

The effect upon the teacher of the study of a few of the "Books of Life"
is deserving of emphasis. First, by limiting the choice to a few things,
teachers are able, without burdening themselves, to penetrate into the
deeper thought and meaning of standard works which are good specimens
and criteria of all superior literature. Teachers are enabled thus to
become, in a limited way, real students of literature. It has been
observed, not seldom, that teachers of usual capacity, when turned into
a single rich field like that of "Hiawatha" or the "Merchant of Venice"
or "The Lays of Ancient Rome" or the "Lady of the Lake," receive an
awakening which means much for their general culture and teaching power.
The scattering of the attention over miscellaneous selections and
fragments can hardly produce this awakening.

Certain difficulties are incident to the reading of longer works as
wholes which it is well to recognize.

1. There is no such nice grading of verbal and language difficulties as
has been wrought out in some of the standard readers. On this point
Scudder says (p. 41 of "Literature in Schools"):--

"The drawback to the use of these nursery classics in the schoolroom
undoubtedly has been in the absence of versions which are intelligible
to children of the proper age, reading by themselves. The makers of the
graded reading-books have expended all their ingenuity in grading the
ascent. They have been so concerned about the gradual enlargement of
their vocabularies that they have paid slight attention to the ideas
which the words were intended to convey. But just this gradation may be
secured through the use of these stories, and it only needs that they
should be written out in a form as simple, especially as regards the
order of words, as that which obtains in the reading-books of equivalent

But in the longer classics for more advanced grades there can be no such
adaptation, and the author's form should be retained. The authors of
"Rip Van Winkle" or "Snow-Bound" or "Horatius at the Bridge" were not
trying to phrase their thought to meet the needs of children, but wrote
as the spirit moved them. The greater vigor and intensity of the
author's style will make up, however, in large part, for this defect in
easy grading. Children are not so much afraid of big or new words, if
there is attractiveness and power of thought. The larger richness and
variety of language in a fruitful author is a positive advantage as
compared with the leanness and dulness of many a smoothly graded reading

2. It is claimed that there is, in some masterpieces, like "Evangeline"
or one of Webster's speeches, a monotony and tiresome sameness which
grows burdensome to pupils ere the conclusion is reached. At least there
is much less variety in style and thought than in an equal number of
pages in the usual reader.

In some cases there is good ground for this criticism. It may be a
defect in the writer's style, or in not finding a suitable selection for
the class. In some cases it is due to lack of power in the teacher to
bring the children properly into close contact with the author's

But dulness and apathy are often found in reading short selections as
well as in longer ones. Generally speaking, longer pieces are apt to
kindle a deeper and stronger interest. Many of the longer selections
have also great variety of rhetorical style. Dickens's "Christmas Carol"
is employed in one of the drill books in reading to illustrate all
phases of voice and tone.

3. It is not an unusual experience to find that a longer story or poem
seems too hard for a class, and it may be impossible to interest them
because of verbal or thought difficulties. But the teacher should not
give up the struggle at once. Often, in a new author, difficulties that
seem at first insurmountable give way before vigorous effort, and a
lively interest is awakened. This has been noticed in Macaulay's "Lays
of Ancient Rome," in Irving's "Rip Van Winkle," in Scott's "Lady of the
Lake," also in Webster's "Speech in reply to Hayne." The teacher should
not depend wholly upon the author's making himself intelligible and
interesting to the children. His own enthusiasm, clear grasp of thought,
suggestive assignment of lesson, and skill in comment and question
should awaken insight and attention. It is advisable at times to pass by
specially difficult passages, or leave them for later special study.

4. In some schools it is not possible to secure books containing the
complete classics. But even the regular readers often contain complete
poems and stories, and several of the large companies are publishing
many of the complete masterpieces in good print and binding, no more
expensive than the regular readers.

5. The greatest difficulty, after all, is the lack of experience of many
teachers with the longer classics. In many cases their inability to
select what would suit their classes is a hindrance. But the experience
of many teachers with these materials is rapidly settling the question
as to the place and importance of the leading masterpieces as well as of
many shorter selections.



There is great abundance and variety of choice reading matter suitable
for the grades from the fourth to the eighth inclusive. The best sets of
reading-books have drawn from this rich material, but no series of
readers can compass adequately the field. Some of the longer classical
stories and poems have been incorporated into readers, but a single set
of readers cannot be made large enough to contain a quarter of the
valuable reading matter which should be furnished in these grades. The
large publishing houses now supply, at moderate expense, in small and
convenient book form, a great variety of the very best complete
masterpieces. In order to show more clearly the richness and variety of
this material, we will discuss briefly the principal kinds of reading
matter which are distributed through these five grades. We assume that
during the first three years of school life children have learned how to
read, having mastered the forms and symbols of printed language. At the
beginning of the fourth grade, therefore, they are prepared to read some
of those choice literary products which constitute a part of the
permanent literature of the world. After having collected and arranged
these products, we find that they fall into several distinctly marked

1. The Myths.

These include such stories as Hawthorne's "Wonder Book" and "Tanglewood
Tales," Peabody's "Old Greek Folk Stories," Kingsley's "Greek Heroes,"
"The Story of Ulysses," Bryant's translation of the "Iliad" and
"Odyssey," Pope's "Homer," and many other prose and poetic renderings of
the Greek myths.

Another group of myths include Mabie's "Norse Stories," "Heroes of
Asgard," "Siegfried," "Myths of Northern Lands," Skinner's "Readings in
Folk Lore," and many forms of the Norse myths. The story of "Hiawatha"
belongs also to this group, while some of the earlier English and Roman
myths belong to the same class.

The choicest of these mythical stories are distributed as reading matter
through the fourth and fifth grades. They constitute a large share of
the most famous literature of the great civilized nations. It is worth
while to name over the virtues of these stories and poems.

They have sprung directly out of the people's life, they are race
products, worked over from age to age by poetic spirits, and finally
gathered into enduring form by a Homer, Virgil, or Spenser. The best of
our later poets and prose masters have employed their finest skill in
rendering them into simple and poetic English, as Bryant, Kingsley,
Longfellow, Pope, Hawthorne, Palmer, Tennyson, Church, and many more.

They are the best descriptions we have of the customs, ideas, and dress,
the homes, habits, and motives, of the ancestral races. Many other
sources, as temples, ruins, tombs, coins, etc., help to explain this
early history; but this literature calls it again into life and puts
meaning into all other sources of knowledge.

The influence which this early literature has had upon later historical
growth of the great races is overwhelming, and is plain to the eyes of
even unscholarly persons. The root from which the marvellous tree of
Greek civilization grew is seen in Homer's poems.

In these myths we find those commanding characters which typify the
strength and virtues of the race, as Achilles, Ulysses, Siegfried,
Penelope, Thor, Apollo, Theseus, Hiawatha, Orpheus, Diana, Vulcan,
Prometheus, and the Muses.

A close acquaintance with these creative ideas of the early world is
necessary to an understanding of all subsequent life and literature. And
it is not merely the names of Greek divinities and definitions of their
character and qualities which put meaning into the numberless allusions
of modern writers. One reason why many modern thinkers smile at the
triteness and childishness of Greek fable is, that they have not caught
the spirit and meaning of the Greek story. The great masters of thought,
like Goethe, Shakespeare, Emerson, Tennyson, and Bryant, have seen

It is, moreover, in childhood, during the early school years especially,
that we may best appreciate and enjoy these poetic creations of an early
world. It is hardly to be expected that people whose youth has been
clamped into the mould of commonplace and sensuous facts, and whose
later years have been crusted over with modern materialism and
commercialism, should listen with any patience to Orpheus and the Muses,
or even to the wood notes of Pan.

We hardly need to dwell upon the idea that the old heroic myths are the
delight of boys and girls, and that this sympathy for the myth is the
foundation of its educative power. Nor is it the purpose of the school
to warp the minds of children into this one channel of growth. The
historical and scientific studies run parallel with the myth, and give
strength for realities.

It is not difficult to see that music, the drama, and the fine arts
spring from these old myths as from their chief source. They furnish
motive to many of the greatest works of dramatist, composer, painter,
and sculptor, in all the ages since. Æschylus and the Greek dramatists,
Goethe and Wagner, Fénelon and Shakespeare, drew abundantly from these

A few of the striking characters of this great age of heroic myths
should be treated with such fulness as to stand out clearly to the
children and appeal to the heart as well as to the head. Ulysses and
Siegfried stand in the centre of two of the chief stories, and exemplify
great qualities of character, strength, wisdom, and nobleness of mind.

In the third grade the children have had an oral introduction to some of
the old stories, and have had a spirited entrance to Mythland. This oral
treatment of the stories is a fitting and necessary prelude to the
reading work of the fourth and fifth grades. It is more fully discussed,
together with the art of the story-teller, in "The Special Method in
Primary Reading and Story."

Closely related to the myths, and kindred in spirit, are such choice
reading materials as "The Arabian Nights," "King of the Golden River,"
Stockton's "Fanciful Tales," "The Pied Piper," and a number of shorter
poems and stories found in the collections recommended for fourth and
fifth grades. Some of Hawthorne's and Irving's stories belong also to
this group.

2. Ballads and Traditional Stories.

A somewhat distinct group of the best reading for fourth and fifth
grades is found in the historical ballads and national legends from the
early history of England, Germany, Italy, and France. They include such
selections as "Sir Patrick Spens," "The Ballads of Robin Hood,"
"Horatius," "Bannock-burn," "The Heart of the Bruce," "The Story of
Regulus," of "Cincinnatus," "Alfred the Harper," and many more. In the
list of books recommended for children's reading are several ballad
books, Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome," "The Book of Golden Deeds,"
"Tales from English History," and several others, with great variety of
poem and story. Many of these selections are short and spirited and well
suited to awaken the strongest enthusiasm of children. They are
sometimes in dialogue form, both in prose and verse, have strong
dramatic action, and are thus helpful in variety and force of
expression. There is also much early history and national spirit
involved. The old historical ballads and traditions have great educative
value. They are simple, crude, and powerful, and awaken the spirit to
receive the message of heroism. In her introduction to the "Ballad
Book," Katharine Lee Bates says, "For these primitive folk-songs, which
have done so much to educate the poetic sense in the fine peasantry of
Scotland--that peasantry which has produced an Ayreshire Ploughman and
an Ettric Shepherd--are assuredly,

  "'Thanks to the human heart by which it lives,'

among the best educators that can be brought into our schoolrooms."

"The Lays of Ancient Rome," the "Ballads," and the "Tales from English
History" belong to the heroic series. Though far separated in time and
place, they breathe the same spirit of personal energy, self-sacrifice,
and love of country. They reveal manly resistance to cruelty and
tyranny. We may begin this series with a term's work upon Macaulay's
"Lays" and a few other choice stories in prose and verse. Thereafter we
may insert other ballads, where needed, in connection with history, and
in amplification of longer stories or masterpieces like Scott's "Tales
of a Grandfather," and "Marmion." In the fifth grade, children are of an
age when these stories of heroism in olden days strike a responsive
chord. They delight in such tales, memorize them, and enter into the
full energy of their spirited reproduction. The main purpose at first is
to appreciate their thought as an expression of history, tradition, and
national life. A complete and absorbing study of a single series of
these ballads, as of Macaulay's, supplies also an excellent standard of
comparison for other more or less similar episodes in the history of
Switzerland, Greece, England, and America.

These historical legends merge almost imperceptibly into the historical
tales of early English, Roman, and French or German history. The
patriarchal stories of the Old Testament furnish the finest of early
history stories and should be included in these materials. "The Old
Stories of the East," and "Old Testament Stories in Scripture Language"
are among the best.

3. Stories of Chivalry.

Tales of chivalry, beginning with "Arthur and his Round Table Knights,"
"Roland and Oliver," and other mediæval tales, have a great attraction
for poets and children. Such books are included in our lists as "The
Court of King Arthur," the "Story of Roland," "Tales of Chivalry," "The
Boys' King Arthur," the "Age of Chivalry," and "The Coming of Arthur"
and "Passing of Arthur." There are also many shorter poems touching this
spirit of chivalry in the Ballad literature. The character and spirit of
King Arthur as revealed in the matchless music of Tennyson should find
its way to the hearts of children before they leave the school. Like Sir
Galahad, he could say,

  "My strength is as the strength of ten
  Because my heart is pure."

4. Historical Stories and Poems.

In the fifth and sixth grades children should begin to read some of the
best biographical and historical stories of America and of European
countries. Of these we have excellent materials from many lands and
periods of time, such as Higginson's "American Explorers," Morris's
"Historical Tales" (both American and English), "Stories of American
Life and Adventure," "Stories of Our Country," "Pioneer History
Stories," "Ten Boys on the Road from Long Ago," "The Story of the
English," "Stories from Herodotus," "Pilgrims and Puritans," Hawthorne's
"Biographical Stories," "Stories from American Life," and others.

In the oral history lessons given on alternate days in fourth grade (see
special method in history) we have made a spirited entrance to American
history through the pioneer stories of the Mississippi Valley. These
should precede and pave the way for classic readings in American
history. In the fifth grade, the stories of Columbus and of the chief
navigators, also the narratives of the Atlantic coast pioneers, are
told. The regular history work of the sixth grade should be a study of
the growth of the leading colonies during the colonial period and the
French and Indian Wars.

In the fifth grade we may begin to read some of the hero narratives of
our own pioneer epoch as rendered by the best writers; for instance,
Higginson's "American Explorers," "Pilgrims and Puritans," "Stories of
Our Country," and "Grandfather's Chair." They are lifelike and spirited,
and introduce us to the realism of our early history in its rugged
exposure and trials, while they bring out those stern but high ideals of
life which the Puritan and the Cavalier, the navigator, the pioneer
hunter, and explorer illustrate. Higginson's collection of letters and
reports of the early explorers, with their quaint language and
eye-witness descriptions, is strikingly vivid in its portraiture of
early scenes upon our shores. Hawthorne, in "Grandfather's Chair," has
moulded the hardy biography of New England leaders into literary form.

5. Great Biographies.

In addition to the shorter biographical stories just mentioned, as
children advance into the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, they should
make a close acquaintance with a few of the great biographies. There is
an abundance of excellent American biographies, but we should limit
ourselves to those most important and best suited to influence the
character of young people. It is necessary also to use those which have
been written in a style easily comprehended by the children. Some of the
best are as follows: Scudder's "Life of Washington," Franklin's
"Autobiography," Hosmer's "Life of Samuel Adams," and the lives of John
Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Lincoln in the "Statesman Series."
There are two fairly good books of Lincoln's early life for children.
There are also many shorter biographies included in the books
recommended for regular or collateral reading.

In style and content the story of Franklin is one of the best for
children. The "Autobiography" of Franklin has many graphic touches from
American life. His intense practical personality, his many-sidedness and
public spirit, make up a character that will long instruct and open out
in many directions the minds of the young. His clear sense and wisdom in
small affairs as in great, and the pleasing style of his narrative, are
sufficiently characteristic to have a strong personal impression. It
will hardly be necessary to take the whole of the "Autobiography," but
the more attractive parts, leaving the rest to the private reading of
children. "Poor Richard's Almanac" intensifies the notion of Franklin's
practical and everyday wisdom, and at the same time introduces the
children to a form of literature that, in colonial days, under
Franklin's patronage, had a wide acceptance and lasting influence in

Plutarch's "Lives" furnish a series of great biographies which grammar
school children should become well acquainted with. The lives of
American writers and poets should be brought to the attention of
children in conjunction with their productions. "The Children's Stories
of American Literature" and the introductory chapters of many of the
masterpieces furnish this interesting and stimulating material. It
should not be neglected by pupils and teachers. For older pupils and for
teachers several of Macaulay's "Essays" are valuable, and the style is
strikingly interesting. For example, the essays on Samuel Johnson, Lord
Chatham, Milton, Addison, and Frederick the Great. Motley's "Essay on
Peter the Great" and Carlyle's "Essay on Burns" are of similar interest
and value. "The Schönberg Cotta Family" is valuable in the upper
grammar grades. Most of this kind of reading must be outside reference
work if it is done at all. Teachers should, first of all, enrich their
own experience by these readings, occasionally bring a book to the class
from which selections may be read, and, secondly, encourage the more
enthusiastic and capable children to this wider field of reading.

6. Historical Poems and Pictures of American Life.

Some of the best American poems and prose masterpieces are fine
descriptions of American life and manners, in different parts of the
country and at various times. Such are: "Courtship of Miles Standish,"
"Tales of the White Hills," "Snow-Bound," "Rip Van Winkle," and "Sleepy
Hollow." "The Gentle Boy," "Mabel Martin," "Giles Corey," "Evangeline,"
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," and some of the great biographies, like those of
Samuel Adams, Franklin, Washington, and Lincoln, are also fine
descriptions of home life in America. The same may be said of some of
the masterpieces of English and European literature, for example,
"Ivanhoe," "Roger de Coverley," "The Christmas Carol," "Vicar of
Wakefield," "William Tell," "Silas Marner," "The Cotter's Saturday
Night," and "Schönberg Cotta Family."

The culture value of these pictures of home and domestic life for young
people is surpassingly great. Gradually their views are broadened, and
they may be imbued with those social, home-bred qualities and virtues so
fundamental in human life.

Irving's stories and Longfellow's "Miles Standish" give a still more
pronounced and pleasing literary cast to two of the characteristic forms
of life in our colonial history, the Puritan and the Dutch Patroon. If
the children have reached this point, where they can read and enjoy the
"Sketch-Book," it will be worth much as a description of life along the
Hudson, and will develop taste and appreciation for literary excellence.
Even the fanciful and ridiculous elements conduce to mental health and
soundness, by showing up in pleasing satire the weaknesses and foibles
of well-meaning people.

"Snow-Bound," "Songs of Labor," and "Among the Hills," while not
historical in the usual sense, are still plainly American, and may well
be associated with other poetic delineations of American life.
"Snow-Bound" is a picture of New England life, with its pleasing and
deep-rooted memories. Its family spirit and idealization of common
objects and joys make it a classic which reaches the hearts of boys and
girls. "Among the Hills" is also a picture of home life in New England
mountains, a contrast of the mean and low in home environment to the
beauty of thrift and taste and unselfish home joys. The "Songs of Labor"
are descriptive of the toils and spirit of our varied employments in
New England and of that larger New England which the migrating Yankees
have established between the oceans.

"Evangeline" is another literary pearl that enshrines in sad and
mournful measures a story of colonial days, and teaches several great
lessons, as of the harshness and injustice of war, of fair-mindedness
and sympathy for those of alien speech and country, of patience and
gentleness and loyalty to high ideals in a character familiar and sacred
to all.

7. The Poetry of Nature in the Masterpieces of Literature.

Both in poetic and in prose form there is great variety and depth of
nature worship in good literature. There are few, if any, of the great
poets who have not been enthusiastic and sympathetic observers of
nature,--nature lovers, we may call them. We can hardly mention the
names of Emerson, Bryant, and Wordsworth, without thinking of their
loving companionship with nature, their flight to the woods and fields.
But the same is true of Lowell, Whittier, Hawthorne, Whitman, and all
the rest. When we add to these, those companions of nature, such as
Thoreau, Leander Keyser, Olive Thorn Miller, Burroughs, Warner, and
others of like spirit, we may be surprised at the number of our leading
writers who have found their chief delight in dwelling close to the
heart of nature.

An examination of the books recommended for children's study and
delight will reveal a large number of the most graceful, inspiriting
products of human thought, which are nature poems, nature hymns, odes to
skylark, the dandelion, the mountain daisy, communings with the myriad
moods and forms of the natural world. Such books as "Nature Pictures by
American Poets," "Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics," "Poetry of the
Seasons," the "Open Sesame" books, and others, show an infinite variety
of poetic inspiration from nature. Adding to these Burroughs's "Birds
and Bees," "Wake Robin," "Squirrels and other Fur-bearers"; Thoreau's
"Succession of Forest Trees"; Higginson's "Outdoor Papers"; Keyser's
"News from the Birds," "In Bird Land," and "Birddom"; Torrey's "Footpath
Way," and "Birds in the Bush"; Long's "Wilderness Ways," and "Ways of
Wood Folk"; the "Plant World" of Vincent, the "Natural History" of
Selborne, and others of like quality,--and we have an abundance of the
most friendly and enticing invitations to nature study. These materials
are suited, by proper arrangement, to all the grades from the fourth up.
Under good teachers such books can do no other than awaken and encourage
the happiest kind of observation and sympathy for nature. It is the kind
of appreciation of birds and trees, insects and clouds, which at once
trains to close and discriminating perception, and to the cultivation of
æsthetic sense in color, form, and sound.

The love of nature cannot be better instilled than by following these

While the study of literature as it images nature cannot take the place
of pure science, it is the most powerful ally that the scientist can
call in. The poets can do as much to idealize science study, to wake the
dull eye, and quicken the languid interest in nature, as scientists
themselves. Away, then, with this presumed antagonism between literature
and science! Neither is complete without the other. Neither can stand on
its own feet. But together, in mutual support, they cannot be tripped
up. The facts, the laws, the utilities, adaptations, and wonders in
nature are not so marvellous but the poet's eye will pierce beneath and
above them, will give them a deeper interpretation, and clothe them in a
garment of beauty and praise. There is nothing beautiful or grand or
praiseworthy that the poet's eye will not detect it, and the poet's art
reveal it in living and lasting forms. Let the scientist delve and the
poet sing. The messages between them should be only those of cheer.

It is in this myriad-voiced world of fields and brooks, of mountain,
lake, and river, of storm and cloud and of the changing seasons, that
poets find the images, suggestions, and analogies which interpret and
illustrate the spiritual life of man. The more rigid study of science in
laboratory and class-room is necessary to the student, but it would be
a narrow and pedantic teacher who would not welcome the poetic temper
and enthusiasm in nature study.

The teachers of reading have, therefore, the best of all opportunities
for cultivating this many-sided sympathy for and insight into nature,
and at the same time to train the children to correlate these nature
poems with their science studies. Observers like Thoreau and Burroughs
give us the greatest inducement for getting out into the woods. They
open our eyes to the beauties and our hearts to the truth of nature's
teachings. These are the gardens of delight where science and poetry
walk hand in hand and speak face to face. It would not be difficult to
show that many of the greatest scientists were poets, and that some of
the chiefest poets have been foremost in scientific study.

8. The Sentiment of Patriotism in Literature.

The powerful national spirit finds expression in many forms of
literature, in hymns, in war song, in oration, in essay, in pioneer
narrative, in stories of battle, in novel, in flag song, in ballad, and
in biography.

We have already noted the great significance of American history stories
in fourth and fifth grades. It is from the early pioneer epoch and the
colonial history that we derive much of our best educative history. The
heroism of these old days has been commemorated in story and poem by our
best writers.

As we approach the Revolutionary crisis a new body of choice literary
products, aglow with the fire of patriotism and independence, is found
stored up for the joy and stimulus of our growing young Americans: "Paul
Revere's Ride," "Grandmother's Story of Bunker Hill," Washington's
letters, "A Ballad of the Boston Tea Party," "Ode for Washington's
Birthday," "Lexington" (Holmes), "The Song of Marion's Men," "The Green
Mountain Boys," Webster's speeches at Bunker Hill and on Adams and
Jefferson, "Old Ticonderoga" (Hawthorne), Burke's speech on the American
War, Washington's "Farewell to the Army," The Declaration of
Independence, "Under the Old Elm," and descriptions of some of the great
scenes of the war by our best historians.

It is to be desired that children in the seventh grade may have
opportunity in regular history lessons to study in detail a few of the
central topics of the Revolutionary epoch. This will put them in touch
with the spirit and surroundings of the Americans.

In the reading lessons of the same grade we may well afford to discover
and feel what our best patriots and men of letters have said and felt in
view of the struggle for freedom. The noblest expressions of sentiment
upon great men and their achievements are contagious with the young.
Patriotism can find no better soil in which to strike its deepest roots
than the noble outbursts of our orators and poets and patriotic
statesmen. The cumulative effect of these varied but kindred materials
is greater than when scattered and disconnected. They mutually support
each other, and when they are brought into close dependence upon
parallel historical studies, we may well say that the children are
drinking from the deep and pure sources of true Americanism.

Parallel to whatever history we attempt to teach in the eighth grade
should run a selection of the best literary products that our American
authors can furnish, and here again we are rich in resources. The
thought and life of our people find their high-water mark in the poet's
clarion note and the statesman's impassioned appeal. No others have
perceived the destiny of our young republic as our cherished poets,
Longfellow, Whittier, Bryant, Holmes, and Emerson. They have stood upon
the mountain tops, looking far and wide through the clear atmosphere,
while the great army of the people has been tenting in the valleys
below. These wakeful priests and prophets have caught the bright tints
of the morning while the people were still asleep, and have witnessed
the suffused glory of the sunset clouds when the weary masses below had
already forgotten the day's toil. One thing at least, and that the
greatest, can be done for our children before they finish the common
school course. They may rise into this pure atmosphere of poet, patriot,
sage, and prophet. They may hear these deathless strains and feel the
thrill of these clarion notes. Let their ears be once attuned to the
strength and harmony of this music, and it will not cease to echo in
their deeper life. The future patriots will be at hand, and the coming
years will see them rising to the great duties that inevitably await
them. We have a body of noble, patriotic material which is capable of
producing this effect if handled by skilful teachers: the Ordinance of
1787, _The Federalist_, Numbers 1 and 2, Washington's "Inaugurals" and
the "Farewell Address," Everett's "Oration on Washington," "O Mother of
Mighty Race" (Bryant); "Our Country's Call" (Bryant); "Abraham Lincoln"
(Bryant); Lincoln's "Inaugurals" and "Gettysburg Speech," "Army Hymn"
and "The Flower of Liberty" (Holmes), Webster's "Second Speech on Foot's
Resolution," The Emancipation Proclamation, "The Fortune of the
Republic" (Emerson), etc., "Antiquity of Freedom" (Bryant); "Centennial
Hymn" (Whittier); "The Building of the Ship" (Longfellow); "The Poor
Voter on Election Day" (Whittier).

Why not gather together these sources of power, of unselfish patriotism,
of self-sacrifice, of noble and inspiring impulse? Let this
fruit-bringing seed be sown deep in the minds and hearts of the
receptive young. What has inspired the best of men to high thinking and
living can touch them.

It is not by reading and declaiming a few miscellaneous fragments of
patriotic gush, not by waving flags and banners and following
processions, that the deeper sentiments of patriotism and humanity are
to be touched, but by gathering and concentrating these fuller, richer
sources of spiritual power and conscious national destiny. The
schoolroom is by far the best place to consolidate these purifying and
conserving sentiments. By gathering into a rising series and focussing
in the higher grades the various forms, in prose and verse, in which the
genius of our country has found its strongest expression; by associating
these ringing sentiments with the epochs and crises of our history, with
the valorous deeds of patriots upon the field and of statesmen in the
senate, with the life and longings of home-nurtured poets and sages,--we
shall plant seed whose fruitage will not disappoint the lovers of the

Mr. Horace E. Scudder, in his two essays on "Literature" and "American
Classics in the Common School," has portrayed with convincing clearness
the spiritual power and high-toned Americanism which breathe from those
literary monuments which have been quarried from our own hillsides and
chiselled by American hands. We recommend to every teacher the reading
in full of these essays, from which we quote at much length:--

"Fifty years ago there were living in America six men of mark, of whom
the youngest was then nineteen years of age, the oldest forty-four.
Three of the six are in their graves and three still breathe the kindly
air. [Since this was written, in 1888, the last of the six has passed
away.] One only of the six has held high place in the national councils,
and it is not by that distinction that he is known and loved. They have
not been in battle; they have had no armies at their command; they have
not amassed great fortunes, nor have great industries waited on their
movements. Those pageants of circumstances which kindle the imagination
have been remote from their names. They were born on American soil; they
have breathed American air; they were nurtured on American ideas. They
are Americans of Americans. They are as truly the issue of our national
life as are the common schools in which we glory. During the fifty years
in which our common school system has been growing up to maturity these
six have lived and sung; and I dare say that the lives and songs of
Bryant, Emerson, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes, and Lowell have an
imperishable value, regarded as exponents of national life, not for a
moment to be outweighed in the balance by the most elaborate system of
common schools which the wit of man may devise. The nation may command
armies and schools to rise from the soil, but it cannot call into life a
poet. Yet when the poet comes and we hear his voice in the upper air,
then we know the nation he owns is worthy of the name. Do men gather
grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so, pure poetry springs from
no rank soil of national life.

"I am not arguing for the critical study of our great authors, in the
higher grades of our schools. They are not the best subjects for
critical scholarship; criticism demands greater remoteness, greater
foreignness of nature. Moreover, critical study is not the surest method
of securing the full measure of spiritual light, though it yields
abundant gain in the refinement of the intellectual nature and in the
quickening of the perceptive faculties. I am arguing for the free,
generous use of these authors in the principal years of school life. It
is then that their power is most profoundly needed, and will be most
strongly felt. We need to put our children in their impressionable years
into instant and close connection with the highest manifestation of our
national life. Away with the bottle and the tube! Give them a lusty
draft at the mother's full breast!

"Nor do I fear that such a course will breed a narrow and parochial
Americanism. On the contrary, it would destroy a vulgar pride in
country, help the young to see humanity from the heights on which the
masters of song have dwelt, and open the mind to the more hospitable
entertainment of the best literature of every clime and age. I am
convinced that there is no surer way to introduce the best English
literature into our schools than to give the place of honor to American
literature. In the order of nature a youth must be a citizen of his own
country before he can become naturalized in the world. We recognize this
in our geography and history; we may wisely recognize it also in our

"The place, then, of literature in our common school education is in
spiritualizing life, letting light into the mind, inspiring and feeding
the higher forces of human nature.

"It is the business of the old to transmit to the young the great
traditions of the past of the country, to feed anew the undying flame of
patriotism. There is the element of destiny. No nation lives upon its
past; it is already dead when it says, 'Let us eat and drink to-day; for
to-morrow we die.' But what that destiny is to be may be read in the
ideals which the young are forming; and those ideals, again, it is the
business of the old to guide. They cannot form them; the young must form
them for themselves; but whether these ideals shall be large or petty,
honorable or mean, will depend upon the sustenance on which they are

"Now in a democracy, more signally than under any other form of national
organization, it is vitally necessary that there should be an unceasing,
unimpeded circulation of the spiritual life of the people. The sacrifice
of the men and women who have made and preserved America, from the days
of Virginia and New England to this hour, has been ascending from the
earth in a never-ending cloud; they have fallen again in strains of
music, in sculpture, in painting, in memorial hall, in tale, in oration,
in poem, in consecration of life; and the spirit which ascended is the
same as that which descended. In literature above all is this spirit
enshrined. You have but to throw open the shrine, and the spirit comes
with its outspread blessings upon millions of waiting souls. Entering
them, it reissues in countless shapes, and thus is the life of the
nation in its highest form kept ever in motion, and without motion is no

"The deposit of nationality is in laws, institutions, art, character,
and religion; but laws, institutions, character, and religion are
expressed through art and mainly through the art of letters. It is
literature, therefore, that holds in precipitation the genius of the
country; and the higher the form of literature, the more consummate the
expression of that spirit which does not so much seek a materialization
as it shapes itself inevitably in fitting form. Long may we read and
ponder the life of Washington, yet at last fall back content upon those
graphic lines of Lowell in 'Under the Old Elm,' which cause the figure
of the great American to outline itself upon the imagination with large
and strong portraiture. The spirit of the orations of Webster and
Benton, the whole history of the young giant poised in conscious
strength before his triumphant struggle, one may catch in a breath in
those glowing lines which end 'The Building of the Ship.' The deep
passion of the war for the Union may be overlooked in some formal study
of battles and campaigns, but rises pure, strong, and flaming in the
immortal 'Gettysburg Speech.'

"Precisely thus the sentiment of patriotism must be kept fresh and
living in the hearts of the young through quick and immediate contact
with the sources of that sentiment; and the most helpful means are those
spiritual deposits of patriotism which we find in noble poetry and lofty
prose, as communicated by men who have lived patriotic lives and been
fed with coals from the altar.

"It is from the men and women bred on American soil that the fittest
words come for the spiritual enrichment of American youth. I believe
heartily in the advantage of enlarging one's horizon by taking in other
climes and other ages, but first let us make sure of that great
expansive power which lies close at hand. I am sure there never was a
time or country where national education, under the guidance of national
art and thought, was so possible as in America to-day.

"The body of wholesome, strong American literature is large enough to
make it possible to keep boys and girls upon it from the time when they
begin to recognize the element of authorship until they leave the
school, and it is varied and flexible enough to give employment to the
mind in all its stages of development. Moreover, this literature is
interesting, and is allied with interesting concerns; half the hard
places are overcome by the willing mind, and the boy who stumbles over
some jejune lesson in his reading-book will run over a bit of genuine
prose from Irving which the schoolbook maker, with his calipers,
pronounces too hard.

"We have gone quite far enough in the mechanical development of the
common school system. What we most need is the breath of life, and
reading offers the noblest means for receiving and imparting this breath
of life. The spiritual element in education in our common schools will
be found to lie in reserve in literature, and, as I believe, most
effectively in American literature.

"Think for a moment of that great, silent, resistless power for good
which might at this moment be lifting the youth of the country, were the
hours for reading in school expended upon the undying, life-giving
books! Think of the substantial growth of a generous Americanism, were
the boys and girls to be fed from the fresh springs of American
literature! It would be no narrow provincialism into which they would
emerge. The windows in Longfellow's mind looked to the east, and the
children who have entered into possession of his wealth travel far.
Bryant's flight carries one through upper air, over broad champaigns.
The lover of Emerson has learned to get a remote vision. The companion
of Thoreau finds Concord become suddenly the centre of a very wide
horizon. Irving has annexed Spain to America. Hawthorne has nationalized
the gods of Greece and given an atmosphere to New England. Whittier has
translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the American dialect. Lowell
gives the American boy an academy without cutting down a stick of timber
in the grove, or disturbing the birds. Holmes supplies that hickory
which makes one careless of the crackling of thorns. Franklin makes the
America of a past generation a part of the great world before treaties
had bound the floating states into formal connection with venerable
nations. What is all this but saying that the rich inheritance we have
is no local ten-acre lot, but a part of the undivided estate of
humanity. Universality, Cosmopolitanism,--these are fine words, but no
man ever secured the freedom of the Universe who did not first pay taxes
and vote in his own village."--"Literature in School" (Houghton,
Mifflin, & Co.).

9. The series of American classics is nowise confined to the ideas of
local or national patriotism, but above and beyond that deep and
powerful sentiment which magnifies the opportunity and manifest destiny
of our nation, it grasps at the ideal form and content of those
Christian virtues which now and evermore carry healing and comfort to
the toiling millions. Our poets, as they have pondered on the past and
looked into the future, were not able to be content with less than the
best. As the vision of the coming years unrolled itself before them they
looked upon it with joy mingled with solicitude. In the mighty conflicts
now upon us only those of generous and saintly purpose and of pure
hearts can prevail.

  "Brief is the time, I know,
  The warfare scarce begun;
  Yet all may win the triumphs thou hast won.
  Still flows the fount whose waters strengthened thee,
  The victors' names are yet too few to fill
  Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory
  That ministered to thee is open still."--BRYANT.

To reveal this Christian armory, the defences of the soul against the
assaults of evil, has been the highest inspiration of our poets. What
depth and beauty and impersonation of Christian virtues do we find in
"Snow-Bound," "Among the Hills," "Evangeline," "The Conqueror's Grave,"
"To a Waterfowl," "The Groves were God's First Temples," "The Living
Temple," "The Sun Day Hymn," "The Chambered Nautilus," "Vision of Sir
Launfal," "The Great Stone Face."

The Bible is not generally admissible as a schoolbook, but the spirit of
Christianity, clad in the forms of strength and grace, is immanent in
the works of our poets. So universal, so human, so fit to the needs and
destinies of men, are the truths of the great evangel, that the prophets
and seers of our race drift evermore into the sheltering haven they
supply. To drink in these potent truths through poetry and song, to see
them enshrined in the imagery and fervor of the sacred masterpieces of
our literature, is more than culture, more than morality; it is the
portal and sanctuary of religious thought, and children may enter it.

10. The higher products of literature contain an energy that quickens
spiritual life in morals, in art, and in religion. To many people, whose
lives are submerged in commercial pursuits or in the great struggle to
develop and utilize the material resources of the world, these spiritual
forces seem vague and shadowy, if not mythical. But there are plenty of
heroic souls in the realm of letters, such as Emerson, Scudder, Ruskin,
Arnold, and Carlyle, who are not disposed to let men settle down in lazy
satisfaction with material good, nor to be blinded even by the splendor
of modern achievements in engineering, in medicine, and in the
application of electricity. We must at least reach a point of view high
enough to perceive the relations of these natural riches to the higher
nature and destiny of man.

Scudder says, "It is to literature that we must look for the substantial
protection of the growing mind against an ignoble, material conception
of life, and for the inspiring power which shall lift the nature into
its rightful fellowship with whatsoever is noble, true, lovely, and of
good report."

Shelley, in like spirit, says: "The cultivation of poetry is never more
to be desired than at periods when, from an excess of the selfish and
calculating principle, the accumulation of the materials of external
life exceed the quantity of the power of assimilating them to the
internal laws of human nature. The body has then become too unwieldy for
that which animates it."

Matthew Arnold, in "Sweetness and Light," while discussing the function
of that truer culture and "perfection which consists in becoming
something rather than in having something," remarks:--

"And this function is particularly important in our modern world, of
which the whole civilization is, to a much greater degree than the
civilization of Greece and Rome, mechanical and external, and tends
constantly to become more so. But above all in our own country has
culture a weighty part to perform because here that mechanical
character, which civilization tends to take everywhere, is shown in the
most eminent degree. Indeed, nearly all the characters of perfection, as
culture teaches us to fix them, meet in this country with some powerful
tendency which thwarts them and sets them at defiance. The idea of
perfection as an inward condition of the mind and spirit is at variance
with the mechanical and material civilization in esteem with us, and
nowhere, as I have said, so much in esteem as with us."

11. Judged by these higher standards our writers and literary leaders
were not simply Americans. They were also Europeans. The Puritan brought
his religion with him, the Cavalier acquired his gentlemanly instincts
in the old home, not in the untrodden forests of the New World. Much of
what we call American is the wine of the Old World poured into the
bearskins and buckskins of the West, with a flavor of the freedom of our
Western wilds. Though born and bred on American soil and to the last
exemplars of the American spirit, our literary leaders have derived
their ideas and inspiration from the literature, tradition, and history
of the Old World. It will be no small part of our purpose, therefore, to
open up to the children of our common schools the best entrance to the
history and literature of Europe. Our own writers and poets have done
this for us in a variety of instances: Hawthorne's rendering of the
Greek myths, Bryant's translation of the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," a good
half of Irving's "Sketch-Book," Lowell's "Vision of Sir Launfal,"
"Aladdin," and "Prometheus," Irving's "Alhambra," Longfellow's "Golden
Legend," "Sandalphon," Taylor's "Boys of Other Countries." Nearly the
whole of our literature, even when dealing ostensibly with American
topics, is suffused with the spirit and imagery of the Old World
traditions. There is also a large collection of prose versions of
European traditions, which, while not classic, are still lively
renderings of old stories and well suited to the collateral reading of
children. Such are "Gods and Heroes," "Tales from English History,"
"Tales from Spenser," "Heroes of Asgard," "Story of the Iliad and

The transition from our own poets who have handled European themes to
English writers who have done the same, is easy and natural; Macaulay's
"Lays of Ancient Rome," Scott's "Tales of a Grandfather," "The Stories
of Waverley," the "Christmas Carol," Kingsley's "Greek Heroes" and
"Water Babies," Ruskin's "King of the Golden River," "Lady of the Lake,"
"Marmion," "Roger de Coverley Papers," "Merchant of Venice," "Arabian
Nights," "Peasant and Prince," Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress,"
"Gulliver's Travels," and others have become by inheritance and
birthright as much a part of the American child's culture as the more
distinctive products of our own writers. No line can be drawn between
those writings which are American and those which sprung from the soil
of England and Europe. So intimate and vital is the connection between
our present and our past, between our children and their cousins across
the water.

These American and European literary products lie side by side in the
school course, though the predominating spirit through the middle and
higher grades up to the eighth should be American. We have noticed that
in the earlier grades most of our classic reading matter comes from
Europe, the nursery rhymes, the folk-lore, fables, and myths, because
the childhood of our culture periods was in Europe. But into the fourth
grade, and from there on, beginning with the pioneers on sea and land,
our American history and literature enters as a powerful agent of
culture. It brings us into quick and vital contact, not simply with the
outward facts, but with the inmost spirit, of our national life and
struggle toward development. This gives the American impulse free and
full expansion, and fortunate are we, beyond expression, that pure and
lofty poets stand at the threshold to usher the children into this
realm, founded deep in the realism of our past history and rising
grandly into the idealism of our desires and hopes. As we advance into
the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades the literature of Europe begins
again to increase in quantity and influence, and to share equally with
American authors the attention of the children.

The Americanism of our poets and prose writers, as previously shown, has
also another side to it, which is one sign of the breadth and
many-sidedness of literature as a study for the young. North America is
a land rich in variety of natural scenery and resource. Nature has
decked the New World with a lavish hand, forest and mountain, lake and
river, prairie and desert, the summer land of flowers and the home of
New England winters. The masterpieces of our poets are full of the
scenery, vegetation, sunsets, mountains, and prairies of the Western
empire. The flowers, the birds, the wild beasts, the pathless forests,
the limitless stretches of plain, have mirrored themselves in the songs
of our poets, and have rendered them dearer to us because seen and
realized in this idealism. Unconsciously perhaps the feeling of
patriotism is largely based upon this knowledge of the rich and varied
beauty and bounty of our native land.

  "I love thy rocks and rills,
  Thy woods and templed hills,
  My heart with rapture thrills,
    Like that above."

As along the shores of our Northern lakes the clear and quiet waters
reflect the green banks, the rolling, forest-crowned hills, the rocky
bluffs, the floating clouds, and overarching blue, so in the homespun,
classic verse and prose of our own writers are imaged the myriad charms
of our native land. Bryant especially is the poet of forest and glade,
"The Forest Hymn," "The Death of the Flowers," "The Return of the
Birds," "A Summer Ramble," "The Fringed Gentian," "The Hunter of the
Prairies," "The White-footed Deer," "To a Waterfowl," "Thanatopsis," and
many others. Longfellow's "Hiawatha," "Evangeline"; Whittier's "Barefoot
Boy," "Songs of Labor," "Among the Hills," and "Snow-Bound"; Hawthorne's
"Tales of the White Hills"; Holmes's "Spring"; Lowell's "Indian Summer
Reverie," "The Oak," and many more.

The literature selected for these grades has a wide scope. It is
instinct with the best Americanism. It draws from Europe at every
breath, while enjoying the freedom of the West. Social, political, and
home life and virtue are portrayed in great variety of dress. Nature
also and natural science reveal the myriad forms of beauty and utility.



1. The Doorway.

There is a strong comfort in the idea that in the preparation of a
masterpiece for a reading class the teacher may be dealing with a unity
of thought in a variety of relations that makes the study a
comprehensive culture-product both to herself and to the children. To
become a student of "Hiawatha" as a whole, and in its relations to
Indian life and tradition, early aboriginal history, and Longfellow's
connection with the same, is to throw a deep glance into history and
anthropology, and to recognize literature as the permanent form of
expressing their spirit. There are a good many side-lights that a
teacher needs to get from history and other literature, and from the
author's life, in order to see a literary masterpiece in its true
setting. It is the part of the poet to make his work intensely real and
ideal, the two elements that appeal with trenchant force to children.
The teacher needs not only to see the graphic pictures drawn by the
artist, but to gather about these central points of view other
collateral, explanatory facts that give a deeper setting to the picture.
Fortunately, such study as this is not burdensome. There is a
joyousness and sparkle to it that can relieve many an hour of tedium.
Literature in its best forms is recreation, and brings an infusion of
spiritual energy. We should not allow ourselves to confuse it with those
more humdrum forms of school employment, like spelling, figuring,
reading in the formal sense, grammar, writing, etc. Literature is the
spiritual side of school effort, the uplands of thought, where gushing
springs well from the roots and shade of overarching trees. There is
jollity and music, beauty and grandeur, the freshness of cool breezes
and of mountain scenery, in such profusion as to satisfy the exuberance
of youthful spirit, and to infuse new energy into old and tired natures.
If the teacher can only get out of the narrow streets of the town and
from between the dead walls of the schoolroom, up among the meadows and
groves and brooks, in company with Bryant or Longfellow or Whittier, if
she can only take a draught of these spirit-waters before walking into
the schoolroom, her thought and conduct will be tempered into a fit
instrument of culture.

The teacher's preparation is not only in the intellectual grasp of the
thought, but in the sympathy, feeling, and pleasure germane to a
classic. The æsthetic and emotional elements, the charm of poetry, and
the sparkle of wit and glint of literary elegance and aptness are what
give relish and delight to true literary products. Literature appeals to
the whole nature and not to the intellect alone. It is not superficial
and formal, but deep and spiritual. The teacher who reads a classic like
"Marmion," thoughtfully dwelling upon the historic pictures, calling to
mind other of Scott's stories and the earlier struggle between Scotland
and England, is drinking at the fresh fountains and sources of some of
the best parts of European history. The clear and rock-rimmed lakes of
Scotland, her rugged mountains and ruined castle walls, are not more
delightful to the traveller than the pictures of life and history that
appear in "Tales of a Grandfather," "Rob Roy," "Marmion," and "Lady of
the Lake." To paint these stirring panoramic views of Scotch adventure
and prowess upon the imagination of the young is to invigorate their
thought with the real sentiment of patriotism, and with appreciation for
manly struggle, endurance, and spirit. The vivid insight it gives into
feudal society in church and court and castle, on battle-field and in
dining hall, among the rude peasantry and the unlettered nobility, is
found more lifelike and lasting than the usual results of historical

The moment we take a longer masterpiece and examine it as a
representative piece of human life, or as a typical portraiture of a
historical epoch, it becomes the converging point for much lively and
suggestive knowledge, deep and strong social interests, and convincing
personification of moral impulses.

The best preparation, therefore, a teacher can make for a class is a
spiritual and spirited one. At first the linguistic, formal, verbal
mastery of literature, its critical examination, even its elocution,
should remain in the background both for teacher and children. Let the
direct impress of the thought, motive, and emotion of the characters be
unimpeded; give the author a chance to speak direct to the hearts of the
children, and the avenue toward the desired results in formal reading
will be left wide open.

We would not deny that a certain labor is required of the teacher in
such preparation. But, in the main, it is a refreshing kind of labor. If
it brings a feeling of weariness, it is the kind that conduces to sound
and healthy sleep. It invokes a feeling of inward power and of
accumulated rich resource that helps us to meet with confidence the
emergencies and opportunities of instruction.

2. In the assignment of the lesson the teacher has a chance to give the
children a glimpse of the pleasure that awaits them, and to catch a
little of the enthusiasm which her own study has awakened. This should
be done briefly and by significant suggestion. In first introducing a
longer work, it will pay to occupy more than is usual in recitations in
opening up the new subject; if it is historical, in locating the time,
circumstances, and geographical setting. The chief aim of the assignment
should be to awaken curiosity and interest which may be strong enough to
lead to a full and appreciative study of the lesson. A second aim of
the assignment is to pave the way to an easier mastery of verbal
difficulties that arise, such as new and difficult words, obscure or
involved passages. The first aim is a substantial and fruitful one. It
approaches the whole reading lesson from the side of interest and
spirit. It seeks to plant direct incentives and suggestions deep enough
in the mind to start effort. The assignment should take it for granted
that natural interest and absorption in the thought will lead directly
to that kind of vigorous effort and mastery that will secure natural and
expressive oral reading. Look well to the deeper springs of thought and
action, and the formal reading will open just the avenue needed to
realize good expression.

Skill, originality, and teaching art are much needed in the assignment.
It is not how much the teacher says, but the suggestiveness of it, the
problems raised, the questions whose answers lie in the examination of
the lesson. The reference to previous readings which bear resemblance to
this selection; the inquiry into children's experiences, sets them to

Sometimes it pays to spend five or ten minutes in attacking the
difficult words and meanings of the lesson assigned. Let the class read
on and discover words or phrases that puzzle them. Let difficult forms
be put on the board and syllabicated if necessary. A brief study of
synonymous words and phrases may be in place.

It is a mistake to decline all helpful and suggestive study of the next
lesson in class, on the ground that it invalidates the self-activity of
children. Self-activity is, indeed, the chief aim of a good assignment.
It is designed to stimulate the children to energetic and well-directed
effort. Self-activity is not encouraged by requiring children to
struggle with obstacles they have not the ability to surmount.
Pronouncing new words and searching for dictionary meanings is often
made a mechanical labor which is irksome and largely fruitless, because
the wrong pronunciations are learned and the definitions do not fit.
Before children are required to use the dictionary in pronouncing and
defining words, they need careful exercises in how to use and to
interpret the dictionary.

The teacher needs to make a study of the art of assigning lessons.
Clearness and simplicity, so as to give no ground for misunderstandings,
are the result of thoughtful preparation on the teacher's part. There is
always danger of giving too much or too little, of carelessness and
unsteady requirements, overburdening the children one day, and even
forgetting the next day to assign a definite task. The forethought and
precision with which a teacher assigns her lessons is one of the best
tests of her prudence and success in teaching.

It is necessary also to be on one's guard against hasty assignments.
Even when proper care has been taken in planning the next lesson, the
time slips by with urgent work, and the signal for dismissal comes
before time has been taken for any clear assignment.

If the teacher knows just what references will throw added light upon
the lesson, what books and pages will be directly helpful, if he can
appoint different pupils to look up particular references and sometimes
even go to the library with them and search for the references, in
grades from the fifth through the eighth, the result may be very
helpful. In the class recitation it is necessary to gather up the fruits
of this reference work with as little waste of time as possible,
recognizing that it is purely collateral to the main purpose.

Pictures and maps are useful oftentimes as references. As children
advance in the grades, they are capable of greater independence and
judgment in the use of such materials. General, loose, and indefinite
references are a sign of ignorance, carelessness, and lack of
preparation on the teacher's part. They are discouraging and
unprofitable to children. But we desire to see children broadening their
views, extending their knowledge of books and of how to use them. The
amount of good literature that can be well treated and read in the class
is small, but much suggestive outside home and vacation reading may be
encouraged, that will open a still wider and richer area of personal

3. In spite of all the precautions of the teacher, in spite of lively
interest and intelligent study by the children, there will be many
haltings and blunders, many inaccuracies in the use of eye and voice.
These faults spring partly from habit and previous home influences. The
worst faults are often those of which a child is unconscious, so
habitual have they become. If we are to meet these difficulties wisely,
we must start and keep up a strong momentum in the class. There should
be a steady and strong current of effort in which all share. This
depends, as has been often said, upon the power of the selection to
awaken the thought and feeling of the children. It depends equally upon
the pervasive spirit and energy of the teacher. If we try to analyze
this complex phenomenon, we may find that, so far as the children are
concerned, two elements are present, natural and spontaneous absorption
in the ideas and sensibilities awakened by the author, and the bracing
conviction that sustained effort is expected and required by the
teacher. Children, to read well, must be free; they must feel the force
of ideas and of the emotions and convictions awakened by them. They must
also be conscious of that kind of authority and control which insists
upon serious and sustained effort. Freedom to exercise their own powers
and obedience to a controlling influence are needful. If the teacher can
secure this right movement and ferment in a class, she will be able to
correct the errors and change bad habits into the desired form of
expression. The correction of errors, in the main, should be quiet,
incidental, suggestive, not disturbing the child's thought and effort,
not destroying the momentum of his sentiment and feeling. Let him move
on firmly and vigorously; only direct his movement here and there,
modify his tone by easy suggestions and pertinent questions, and
encourage him as far as possible in his own effort to appreciate and
express the author's idea.

In reading lessons there are certain purely formal exercises that are
very helpful. The single and concert pronunciation of difficult or
unusual words that come up in old and new lessons, the vocal exercises
in syllabication and in vowel and consonant drill, are examples. They
should be quick and vigorous, and preliminary to their application in

4. The teacher is only a guide and interpreter. With plenty of reserve
power, he should only draw upon it occasionally. His chief business is
not to show the children how to read by example, nor to be always
explaining and amplifying the thought of the author. His aim should be
to best call the minds of the children into strong action through the
stimulation of the author's thought, and to go a step farther and
reproduce and mould this thought into oral expression.

In order to call out the best efforts of children, a teacher needs to
study well the art of questioning. The range of possibilities in
questioning is very wide. If a rational, sensible question is regarded
as the central or zero point, there are many degrees below it in the art
of questioning and many degrees above it. Below it is a whole host of
half-rational or useless questions which would better be left unborn:
What does this word mean? Why didn't you study your lesson? Why weren't
you paying attention? What is the definition of also? How many mistakes
did Mary make?

Much time is sometimes wasted in trying to answer aimless or trivial
questions: Peter, what does this strange word mean, or how do you
pronounce it? Ethel may try it. Who thinks he can pronounce it better?
Johnny, try it. Perhaps somebody knows how it ought to be. Sarah, can't
you pronounce it? Finally, after various efforts, the teacher passes on
to something else without even making clear the true pronunciation or
meaning. This is worse than killing time. It is befuddling the children.
A question should aim clearly at some important idea, and should bring
out a definite result. The children should have time to think, but not
to guess and dawdle, and then be left groping in the dark.

The chief aim of questions is to arouse vigor and variety of thought as
a means of better appreciation and expression. Children read poorly
because they do not see the meaning or do not feel the force of the
sentiment. They give wrong emphasis and intonation. A good question is
like a flash of lightning which suddenly reveals our standing-ground and
surroundings, and gives the child a chance to strike out again for
himself. His intelligence lights up, he sees the point, and responds
with a significant rendering of the thought. But the teacher must be a
thinker to ask simple and pertinent questions. He can't go at it in a
loose and lumbering fashion. Lively and sympathetic and appreciative of
the child's moods and feelings must he be, as well as clear and definite
in his own perception of the author's meaning.

Questioning for meaning is equivalent to that for securing expression,
and thus two birds are hit with one stone. A pointed question energizes
thought along a definite line, and leads to a more intense and vivid
perception of the meaning. This is just the vantage-ground we desire in
order to secure good expression. We wish children not to imitate, but
first to see and feel, and then to express in becoming wise the thought
as they see it and feel it. This makes reading a genuine performance,
not a parrot-like formalism.

5. Trying to awaken the mental energy and action of a class as they move
on through a masterpiece, requires constant watchfulness to keep alive
their sense-perceptions and memories, and to touch their imaginations
into constructive effort at every turn in the road. Through the direct
action of the senses the children have accumulated much variety of
sense-materials, of country and town, of hill, valley, river, lake,
fields, buildings, industries, roads, homes, gardens, seasons. Out of
this vast and varied quarry they are able to gather materials with which
to construct any landscape or situation you may desire. Give the
children abundance of opportunity to use these collected riches, and to
construct, each in his own way, the scenes and pictures that the poet's
art so vividly suggests. Many of the questions we ask of children are
designed simply to recall and reawaken images which lie dormant in their
minds, or, on the other hand, to find out whether they can combine their
old sense-perceptions so skilfully and vividly as to realize the present
situation. Keen and apt questions will reach down into the depth of a
child's life experiences and bring up concrete images which the fancy
then modifies and adjusts to the present need. The teacher may often
suggest something in his own observations to kindle like memories in
theirs. Or, if the subject seems unfamiliar, he may bring on a picture
from book or magazine. Sometimes a sketch or diagram on the board may
give sense-precision and definiteness to the object discussed, even
though it be rudely drawn. This constant appeal to what is real and
tangible and experimental, not only locates things definitely in time
and space, makes clear and plain what was hazy or meaningless, awakens
interest by connecting the story or description with former
experiences, but it sets in action the creative imagination which shapes
and builds up new and pleasing structures, combining old and new. This
kind of mental elaboration, which reaches back into the senses and
forward into the imagination, is what gives mobility and adjustability
to our mental resources. It is not stiff and rigid and refractory
knowledge that we need. Ideas may retain their truth and strength, their
inward quality, and still submit to infinite variations and adjustments.
Water is one of the most serviceable of all nature's compounds, because
it has such mobility of form, such capacity to dissolve and take into
solution other substances, or of being absorbed and even lost sight of
in other bodies. The ideas we have gathered and stored up from all
sources are our building materials; the imagination is the architect who
conceives the plan and directs the use of different materials in the
growth of the new structures. The teacher's chief function in reading
classes is, on the one hand, to see that children revive and utilize
their sense-knowledge, and on the other, to wake the sleeping giant and
set him to work to build the beauteous structures for which the
materials have been prepared. But for this, teachers could be dispensed
with. As Socrates said, they are only helpers; they stand by, not to
perform the work, but to gently guide, to stimulate, and now and then to
lend a helping hand over a bad place.

Explanations, therefore, on the teacher's part, should be clear and
brief, purely tributary to the main effort. In younger classes, when the
children have, as yet, little ability to use references, the teacher may
add much, especially if it be concrete, graphic, picturesque, and
bearing directly upon the subject. But as children grow more
self-reliant they can look up facts and references, and bring more
material themselves to the elucidation of the lesson. But even in adult
classes the rich experience of a trained and wise teacher, whose
illustrations are apt and graphic and criticisms incisive, is an intense
pleasure and stimulus to students.

6. The major part of time and effort in reading classes should be given
to the reading proper, and not to oral discussions, explanations, and
collateral information and references. It is possible to have
interesting discussions and much use of reference books, and still make
small progress in expressive reading. The main thing should not be lost
sight of. We should learn to march steadily forward through lively and
energetic thought toward expressive reading. There is no other right
approach to good reading except through a lively grasp of the thought,
sentiment, and style of the author. But the side-lights that come from
collateral reading and reference are of great significance. They are
something like the scenery on the stage. They make the effect more
intense and real. They supply a background of environment and
association which give the ideas more local significance and a stronger
basis in the whole complex of ideas.

The reading or oral rendering is the final test of understanding and
appreciation of the lesson. The recitation should focus in this applied
art. All questioning and discussion that do not eventuate in expressive
reading fall short of their proper result. Reading is a school exercise
in which the principles discussed can be immediately applied, and this
is scarcely true in studies like history, science, and mathematics.
There are many hindrances in the way of this fruitful result; the
teacher is tempted to talk and explain too much, interesting questions
and controversies spring up, trivial matters receive too much
consideration, much time is spent in the oral reproduction of the
thought; often the time slips by with a minimum of effective reading.

The questions, discussions, collateral references, and explanations
should be brought into immediate connection with the children's reading,
so that the special thought may produce its effect upon expression. This
test of effectiveness is a good one to apply to explanations,
definitions, and questions. Unless they produce a pronounced effect upon
the reading, they are largely superfluous. In view of this the teacher
will learn to be sparing of words, laconic and definite in statement,
pointed and clear in questioning, and energetic in pushing forward.
While interest in the thought-content is the impelling motive in good
reading exercises, lively and natural expression is likewise the proper
fruit and outcome of such a motive carried to its proper end.

7. In order to keep up the right interest and movement, it is necessary
to give considerable variety to the work. A teacher's good sense and
tact should be like a thermometer which registers the mental temperature
of the class. If kept too long at a single line of effort, its monotony
induces carelessness and inattention; while a total change to some other
order of exercise would awake their interest and zeal. Variety is needed
also within the compass of a single recitation, because there are
several preliminaries and varieties of preparatory drill which conduce
to good rendering of any selection. Such are vocal exercises in
consonants and vowels; pronunciation and syllabication of new or
difficult words; physical exercises to put the body and nervous system
into proper tone; the assignment of the next lesson, requiring a
peculiar effort and manner of treatment; the report and discussion of
references; concert drills; the study of meanings--synonyms and
derivations; illustrations and information by the teacher; introduction
of other illustrative matter, as pictures, drawings, maps, and diagrams.
Variety can be given to each lesson in many ways according to the
ingenuity of the teacher. If we are reading a number of short
selections, they themselves furnish different varieties and types of
prose and verse. The dramatist or novelist provides for such variety by
introducing a series of diverse scenes, all leading forward to a common

8. Parallel to the requirement of variety is the equally important
demand that children should learn to do one thing at a time and learn to
do it well. This may appear contradictory to the former requirement, but
the skill and tact of the teacher is what should solve this seeming
contradiction. It is a fact that we try to do too many things in each
reading lesson. We fail to pound on one nail long enough to drive it in.
Reading lessons often resemble a child pounding nails into a board. He
strikes one nail a blow or two, then another, and so on until a dozen or
more are in all stages of incompleteness. We too often allow the
recitation hour to end with a number of such incomplete efforts. Good
reading is not like moving a house, when it is all carried along in one
piece. We reach better results if we concentrate attention and effort
during a recitation along the line of a narrow aim. At least this seems
true of the more formal, mechanical side of reading. It is better to try
to break up bad habits, one at a time, rather than to make a general,
indefinite onslaught upon all together. Suppose, for example, that the
teacher suggests as an aim of the lesson conversational reading, or that
which sounds like pupils talking to each other. Many dialogue selections
admit of such an aim as this. If this aim is set up at the beginning of
the lesson, the children's minds will be rendered acute in this
direction; they will be on the alert for this kind of game. Each child
who reads is scrutinized by teacher and pupils to see how near he comes
to the ideal. A conscious effort begins to dominate the class to reach
this specific goal. Children may close their eyes and listen to see if
the reading has the right sound. A girl or boy goes into an adjoining
entry or dressing room and listens to see if those in the class are
reading or talking. The enthusiasm and class spirit awakened are very
helpful. Not that a whole recitation should be given up to that sort of
thing, but it is the characteristic effort of the lesson. When the
children practise the next lesson at home they will have this point in

For several days this sort of specific, definite aim at a narrow result
may be followed up in the class till the children begin to acquire power
in this direction. What was, at first, painfully conscious effort begins
to assume the form of habit, and when this result is achieved, we may
drop this aim as a leading one in the recitation, and turn our attention
to some different line of effort. Distinct pronunciation of sounds is
one of the things that we are always aiming at, in a general way, and
never getting. Why not set this up in a series of recitations as a
definite aim, and resort to a series of devices to lay bare the kind of
faults the children are habitually guilty of? Give them a chance to
correct these faults, and awake the class spirit in this direction. It
will not be difficult to convince them that they are not pronouncing
their final consonants, like _d_, _t_, _l_, _m_, _r_, and _k_. Keep the
attention for a lesson to this kind of error till there is recognizable
improvement. Then notice the short vowel sounds in the unaccented
syllables, and give them search-light attention. Notice later the
syllables that children commonly slur over. Mark these fugitives, and
see if they continue so invisible and inaudible. They are like Jack the
Giant Killer, when he put on his cloak of invisibility, or like Perseus
under similar circumstances. See if we can find these fellows who seem
to masquerade and dodge about behind their companions. Then some of the
long vowels and diphthongs will require investigation. They are not all
so open-faced and above board as they might be. When children have such
a simple and distinct aim in view, they are ready to work with a vim and
to exert themselves in a conscious effort at improvement. Keep this aim
foremost in the recitation, although other requirements of good reading
are not wholly neglected.

After a definite line of effort has been strongly developed as one of
the above described, it is possible thereafter to keep it in mind with
slight attention. But if no special drill has ever been devoted to it
for a given length of time, it has not been brought so distinctly to
mind as to produce a lasting impression and to lay the basis for habit.
Besides the two aims, clear articulation and conversational tones, there
are others that may be labored at similarly. Appreciation of the thought
as expressed by the reading is a rich field for critical study of a
piece, and as a basis for observing and judging the children's reading.
This idea is well implied by such questions as follow: Is that what the
passage means? Have you given expression to the author's meaning by
emphasis on this word? Does your rendering of this passage make good
sense? Compare it with what precedes. How did the man feel when he said
this? What do we know of his character that would lead us to expect such
words from him? This line of questions has a wide and varied range. The
chief thing is to scrutinize the thought in all the light attainable,
and appeal to the child's own judgment as to the suitableness of the
tone and emphasis to the thought. Does it sound right? Is that what the
passage means?

Each characteristic form of prose or verse has a peculiar style and
force of expression that calls for a corresponding oral rendering. There
is the serious and massive, though simple, diction of Webster's
speeches, with its smooth and rounded periods, calling for slow and
steady and energetic reading. We should notice this characteristic of an
author, and grow into sympathy with his feeling, language, and mental
movement. In Macaulay's "Lays of Ancient Rome," the ring of martial
music is in the words, and it swells out into rapid and rousing speech
which should correspond to the thought. In "Evangeline" the flow of
language is placid and gentle and rhythmical, and in consonance with the
gentle faith and hope of Evangeline. Every true literary product has its
own character, which the genius of the author has impressed upon its
language and moulded into its structure, and which calls for a rendering
fit and appropriate. Before completing a selection, we should detect
this essence and quality and bring our reading to reveal it. The places
should be pointed out where it comes into prominence.

When completing such a work of art there should be given opportunity to
bring all the varied elements and special aims discovered and worked out
during its reading to a focus.

In the final review and rereading of a complete poem or prose selection
the points of excellence in reading which have been the special aims of
effort in the studies of the piece should be kept sharply in mind and
pushed to a full expression. The realization of these various aims may
be set before the class as the distinct object of their closing work on
a masterpiece. The failure to hold vigorously to this final achievement
is a clear sign of intellectual and moral lassitude. Reading, as noticed
before, is one of the few studies in which the final application of
theory to practice can be effected, and children may realize that things
are learned for the sake of using them, and not simply against some
future contingency. This implies, however, much resource and skill on
the teacher's part in awakening the children. The impulses and aims
which arouse the children to strenuous effort should spring from within,
and should be expressions of their own self-activity and volition. There
is much need of the enthusiasm and will-energy that overcome drudgery.
Children should be taught to be dissatisfied with anything less than
real accomplishment.

The children will naturally memorize certain passages which strike their
fancy. Other passages have been suggested by the teacher for different
pupils to memorize. In one of the closing lessons let the children
recite these parts before the class. If the teacher has succeeded in
calling out the live interest of the class during the previous study,
such a lesson will be a joy to both pupils and teacher. One or two of
the children may also volunteer or be appointed to make an oral
statement of the argument, which will give freedom to natural and
effective speech. Such a round-up of the reading lessons at the end of a
series of interesting studies is a rich experience to the whole class.

Besides the important special aims thus far suggested, which should each
stand out clear for a series of lessons until its value is realized and
worked over into habit, there are other subordinate aims that deserve
particular and individual consideration, and may now and then become the
dominant purpose of a lesson. Such are the correction of singsong
reading, the use of the dictionary, the study of synonyms and
antitheses, the comparisons and figures of speech, exercises in sight
reading of unfamiliar selections, quotations from selections and
masterpieces already read, study of the lives and works of authors.

Reading is a many-sided study, and to approach its difficulties with
success we must take them up one at a time, conquering them in detail.
Good housekeepers and cooks are accustomed to lay out a series of
dinners in which the chief article of diet is varied from day to day as
follows: chicken pie with oysters, veal potpie, stewed fish, broiled
beefsteak, venison roast, bean soup with ham, roast mutton, baked fish,
broiled quail, roast beef, baked chicken with parsnips, etc. Such a
series of dinners gives a healthy variety and relish. It is better for
most people than the bill of fare at a large hotel, where there is so
much variety and sameness each day. When we try each day to do
everything in a reading lesson, we grasp more than our hands can hold,
and most of it falls to the ground. Children are pleased and encouraged
by actual progress in surmounting difficulties when they are presented
one at a time, and opportunity is given for complete mastery. The
children should labor consciously and vigorously at one line of effort,
be it distinctness or rhythm or emphasis or conversational tone, till
decided improvement and progress are attained, and the ease of right
habit begins to show itself. Then we can turn to some new field,
securing and holding the vantage-ground of our foregoing effort by
occasional reminders.

9. One of the best tests applied to a reading class is their degree of
class attention. The steadiness and responsiveness with which the whole
class follow the work is a fair measure of successful teaching. To have
but one child read at a time while the others wait their turn or scatter
their thoughts, is very bad. It is a good sign of a teacher's skill and
efficiency to see every child in energetic pursuit of the reading. It
conduces to the best progress in that study and is the genesis of right
mental habit.

Attention is a _sine qua non_ to good teaching, and yet it is a result
rather than a cause. It is a ripe fruit rather than the spring promise
of it. The provisions which lead up to steady attention are deserving of
a teacher's study and patient scrutiny. She may command attention for a
moment by sheer force of will and personality, but it must have
something to feed upon the next moment and the next, or it will be
wandering in distant fields. So great and indispensable is the value of
attention, that some teachers try to secure it at too heavy a cost. They
command, threaten, punish. They resort to severity and cruelty. But the
more formidable the teacher becomes, the more difficult for a child to
do his duty. Here, again, we can best afford to go back to the sources
from which attention naturally springs, interesting subject of thought,
vivid and concrete perceptions, lively and suggestive appeal to the
imagination, the sphere of noble thought and emotion, variety and
movement in mental effort, a mutual sympathy and harmony between teacher
and pupil.

It is indeed well for the teacher to gauge his work by the kind and
intensity of attention he can secure. If the class has dropped into
slothful and habitual carelessness and inattention, he will have to give
them a few severe jolts; he must drop questions where they are least
expected. He must be very alert to detect a listless child and wake him
into action. The vigor, personal will, and keen watchfulness of the
teacher must be a constant resource. On the other hand, let him look
well to the thought, the feeling, and capacity of the children, and give
them matter which is equal to their merits.

It is not unusual to find the teacher's eye following the text closely
instead of watching the class. But the teacher's eye should be moving
alertly among the children. In case he has studied the lesson carefully,
the teacher can detect almost every mistake without the book. In fact,
even if one has not recently read a selection, he can usually detect a
verbal error by the break or incoherency of the thought. Moreover, the
teacher can better judge the expressiveness of the reading by listening
to it than by following the text with his eye. Depending wholly upon the
ear, any defect of utterance or ineptness of expression is quickly
detected. Even the children at times should be asked to close their
books and to listen closely to the reading. This emphasizes the notion
that good reading is the oral expression of thought, so that those who
listen can understand and enjoy it.

The treadmill style of reading, which repeats and repeats, doing the
same things day by day, going through the like round of mechanical
motions, should give way to a rational, spirited, variegated method
which arouses interest and variety of thought, and moves ever toward a
conscious goal.

10. In studying the masterpieces of great writers, a question arises how
to treat the moral situations involved in the stories. In their revolt
against excessive moralizing with children, some critics object to any
direct teaching of moral ideas in connection with literature, being
opposed to explicit discussions of moral notions.

All will admit that literature, dealing as it does with human life, is
surcharged with practical morality, with social conduct. It is also the
motive of great writers, while dealing honestly with human nature, to
idealize and beautify their representations of men. Nor is it their
purpose to make unworthy characters pleasing and attractive models.

It is expected, of course, that children will get clear notions and
opinions of such persons as Miles Standish and John Alden, of Whittier's
father and mother and others in the fireside circle of "Snow-Bound," of
Antonio and Shylock in the "Merchant of Venice," of Cinderella and her
sisters in the story, of Wallace and Bruce in Scott's "Tales," of Gluck
and his brothers in Ruskin's story, of Scrooge in the "Christmas Carol,"
of Evangeline, Enoch Arden, etc.

But boys and girls are not infallible judges of character. They are apt
to form erroneous or one-sided judgments from lack of insight into the
author's meaning, or from carelessness. There is the same possibility of
error in forming moral judgments as in forming judgments in other phases
of an author's thought.

It is the province of the teacher to stimulate the children to think,
and, by his superior experience and judgment, to guide them into correct
thinking. It is not the function of the teacher to impose his ready-made
judgments upon children, either in morals or in anything else. But it is
his concern, by questions, suggestions, and criticisms, to aid in
clarifying the thought, to put the children upon the right track. There
is no reason why a teacher should abdicate his place of instructor
because he chances to come before moral problems. Literature is full of
moral situations, moral problems, and moral evolutions in character, and
even of moral ideals. Is the teacher to stand dumb before these things
as if he had lost his wits? Or is he to consider it the greatest
opportunity of his life to prudently guide young people to the correct
perception of what is beautiful and true in human life? Why, indeed,
should he suppress his own enthusiasm for these ideals? Why should not
his personality be free to express itself in matters of moral concern,
as well as in intellectual and æsthetic judgments? So long as the
teacher throws the pupils back upon their own self-activity and thinking
power, there need be no danger of moral pedantry or of moral dyspepsia.

It seems to me, therefore, that the teacher should use freedom and
boldness in discussing with the children candidly and thoughtfully the
characters presented in good literature. Let the situations be made
clear so that correct judgments of single acts can be formed. Let the
weaknesses and virtues of the persons be noted. Let motives be studied
and characteristic tendencies traced out. In this way children may
gradually increase their insight and enlarge the range of their
knowledge of social life. If these things are not legitimate, why should
such materials be presented to children at all? We need not make
premature moralists of children, or teach them to pass easy or flippant
moral judgments upon others. But we wish their interest in these
characters to be deep and genuine, their eyes wide open to the truths of
life, and their intuitive moral judgments to ripen in a healthy and
hearty social environment. To this end the teacher will need to use all
his skill in questioning, in suggestion, in frank and candid discussion.
In short, he needs just those qualities which a first-class teacher
needs in any field of study.

We have gotten out of the mode of tacking a moral to a story. Ostensibly
moral stories, overweighted with a moral purpose, do not please us. We
wish novelists and dramatists to give us the truth of life, and leave us
to pass judgment upon the characters. Our best literature presents great
variety of scenes and characterizations in their natural setting in
life. They specially cultivate moral judgment and insight. One of the
ultimate standards which we apply to all novels and dramas is that of
their fundamental moral truth. Schlegel, in his "Dramatic Art and
Literature," in his criticisms of great writers, discusses again and
again the moral import of the characters, and even the moral purpose of
Shakespeare and the dramatists. In fact, these moral considerations lie
deep and fundamental in judging the great works of literary art. The
masterpieces we use in the schools bear the same relation to the
children that the more difficult works bear to adults.

The clear discussion of the moral element in literature seems,
therefore, natural and legitimate, while its neglect and obscuration
would be a fatal defect.

11. There are two kinds of reading which should be cultivated in reading
lessons, although they seem to fall a little apart from the main highway
of effort. They are, first, sight reading of supplementary matter for
the purpose of cultivating a quick and accurate grasp of new thought and
forms. When we leave school, one of the values of reading will be the
power it gives to interpret quickly and grasp firmly the ideas as they
present themselves in the magazines, papers, and books we read. Good
efforts in school reading will lead forward gradually to that readiness
of thought and fluency of perception which will give freedom and mastery
of new reading matter. To develop this ability and to regulate it into
habit, we must give children a chance to read quite a little at sight.
We need supplementary readers in sets which can be put into the hands of
children for this purpose. The same books will answer for several
classes, and may be passed from room to room of similar grade.

The reading matter we select for this purpose may be classic, and of the
best quality, just as well as to be limited to information and
geographical readers which are much inferior. There are first-class
books of literary merit, which are entirely serviceable for this purpose
and much richer in culture. They continue the line of study in classic
literature, and give ground for suggestive comparisons and reviews which
should not be neglected. There is a strong tendency in our time to put
inferior reading matter, in the form of information readers, science
primers, short history stories, geographical readers, newspapers, and
specially prepared topics on current events, into reading classes. These
things may do well enough in their proper place in geography, history,
natural science, or general lessons, but they should appear scarcely at
all in reading lessons. Preserve the reading hour for that which is
choicest in our prose and verse, mainly in the form of shorter or longer
masterpieces of literature.

Secondly, many books should be brought to the attention of the children
which they may read outside of school. The regular reading exercises
should give the children a lively and attractive introduction to some of
the best authors, and a taste for the strength and beauty of their
productions. But the field of literature is so wide and varied that many
things can only be suggested, which will remain for the future leisure
and choice of readers. Children might, however, be made acquainted with
some of the best books suited to their age for which there is not school
time. Many of the best books, like "Ivanhoe," "Quentin Durward,"
"Captains Courageous," "Swiss Family Robinson," and "Nicholas Nickleby,"
cannot be read in school. They should be in the school library, and the
teacher should often refer to them and to others suggested by the
regular reading, which give deeper and wider views into life.

12. In the use of the symbols and language forms of reading, the
children should be led on to freedom and self-activity. How to get the
mastery of these forms in the early reading work is discussed in the
"Special Method in Primary Reading and Story."

In the fourth and fifth years of school, children should learn to use
the dictionary. It is a great means of self-help when they have learned
to interpret the dictionary easily. But special lessons are necessary to
teach children: first, how to find words in the dictionary; second, how
to interpret the diacritical markings so as to get a correct
pronunciation; and third, how to discriminate among definitions. Adults
and even teachers are often deficient in these particulars, and children
will not form habits of using the dictionary with quick and easy
confidence without continuous, attentive care on the teacher's part. The
best outcome of such training is the conscious power of the child to
help himself, and there is nothing in school work more deserving of

The system of diacritical markings used in the dictionary should be put
on the blackboard, varied illustrations of the markings given, and the
application of these markings to new words in the dictionary discovered.
Lack of success in this work is chiefly due to a failure to pursue this
plan steadily till ease and mastery are gained and habits formed.

In the later grades these habits of self-help should be kept up and
extended further to the study of synonyms, root words and their kindred,
homonyms, prefixes and suffixes, and the derived meanings of words.




In the following chapter some phases of method not fully treated before
will be discussed and illustrated.

1. The proposal to treat literary masterpieces as units of thought
implies a searching study and sifting out of the essential idea in each
poem or selection. In some, both of the longer and shorter pieces, it is
not difficult to detect the motive. In Bryant's "Ode to a Waterfowl," it
is even suggested as a sort of moral at the close. Likewise in the "Pied
Piper of Hamelin," and in Burns's "Tam O'Shanter." In "Glaucis and
Philemon," as well as in "The Golden Touch," even a child can quickly
discern the controlling idea of the myth. But in many of our choicest
literary products it requires deliberate thought to discover the poet's
deeper meaning, especially that idea which binds all the parts together
and gives unity to the whole. In Lowell's address "To the Dandelion," we
may find in each stanza the gleam of the golden thread which unifies the
whole. The first lines suggest it:--

  "Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
  Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold."

And again in the second stanza:--

  "'Tis the Spring's largess which she scatters now
  To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand."

In the succeeding stanzas he calls to mind how the dandelion suggests
the riches of the tropics, the full promise of summer, the pure joys of
childhood, the common loving courtesies of life, the rich love and
prodigality of nature, and the divinity in every human heart.

When by reflection we bind all these thoughts together, and find that
they focus in the idea that the best riches abound and even burst forth
out of common things and from the hearts of common men and women, we
realize that the poet has brought us to the point of discovering a deep
and practical truth, which, put to work in the world, would bring rhythm
and harmony into human life.

But such a deep impression is not made by a superficial or fragmental
study of the poem.

A somewhat similar result may be wrought out by the study of Lowell's
poem, "An Incident in a Railroad Car," and the idea is well expressed in
the verse:--

  "Never did poesy appear
  So full of heaven to me as when
  I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear
  To lives of coarsest men."

The study of a poem or other masterpiece in this way, to get at its
inner life and continuity, reveals to us an interesting process of
mental elaboration and comparative thought. Such self-active reflection
is the subsoiling of the mind.

To set children to work upon problems of this sort, to put them in the
way of thinking and feeling for themselves, and that too even in the
longer classics like "Evangeline," "Enoch Arden," "Silas Marner," etc.,
is to bring such studies into the realm of great culture-producing

Many minor questions of method will be solved by having these centres of
thought, these problems for thinkers. Teachers are bothered to know what
sort of questions to ask. It would be safe to say, those questions which
move in the direction of the main truth, toward the solution of the
chief problem. But let the questions be shrewd, not revealing too much,
stimulating to thoughtfulness and heading off errors. To what extent
shall geographical, historical, or biographical facts be gathered for
the enrichment and clarifying of the poem? Those materials which throw
necessary light on the essential ideas, omitting what is irrelevant and

A careful study of the life of Alexander, by Plutarch, will bring to
light, more than anything else, his magnanimity. The thing that so much
distinguished him from other men was his large, liberal temper,
displayed on many various occasions. It reminds the mature student of
that remarkable utterance of Burke, "Great affairs and little minds go
ill together." The large-minded statesmanship with which Burke discusses
conciliation with the colonies is of like quality with this magnanimous
spirit of Alexander.

One who reads receptively Emerson's "The Fortune of the Republic" will
open his eyes on two opposite but closely related ideas, the serious
faults,--the low political tone, the materialism, the spread-eagle strut
and slovenly mediocrity of much in American life,--and over against this
the splendid promise, manliness, and intense idealism of our national
life. To work out this conception in the brains of young people and let
it kindle their hearts with some true glow of patriotism, is the highest
form of teaching. Such instruction would convert every schoolhouse into
a true temple of freedom and patriotism.

But in order to reach these results both teachers and pupils must put
their minds to the stretch of earnest work. In the introduction to the
above-named essay of Emerson, in the "Riverside Literature Series,"
occurs the following interesting and suggestive passage: "Yet many of
his most notable addresses were given before audiences of young men and
women, and out of the great body of his writings it is not difficult to
find many passages which go straight to the intelligence of boys and
girls in school. The plan of this series forbids the use of extracts,
or many numbers might be filled with striking and appropriate passages
from Emerson's writings; but there are certain essays and addresses
which, though they may contain some knotty sentences, are in the main so
interesting to boys and girls who have begun to think, they are so
inspiring and yield so much to any one who will take a little trouble to
use his mind, that it is obviously desirable to bring them in convenient
form to the attention of schools. Some of the best things in literature
we can get only by digging for them; and there is great satisfaction in
reading again and again masterpieces like the essays in this collection,
with a fresh pleasure in each reading as new ideas spring up in the mind
of the attentive reader."

It will be a day rich in promise and fruitful of great things when the
general body of our teachers take hold of our great American classics in
this determined spirit, treating them as wholes and grasping firmly the
essential fundamental ideas.

2. It is in the thought-analysis of a reading lesson that a teacher's
wit and wisdom are brought to the severest test. The words of
Shakespeare may be applied to the teacher:--

  "A prince most prudent, of an excellent
  And unmatched wit and judgment."

There is much danger of wasting time in formal questions, questions
striking no spark of interest, questions on familiar words that really
need no elucidation, vague and unpremeditated questions that make no
forward step. Simple, far-reaching questions, which touch the pupils'
deeper thoughtfulness in preparing the lesson and stimulate his
self-active effort, are needed. If the teacher has become keenly
interested, he will ask more telling questions. If he has probed into
the author's secret,--the thing which he has been hinting at and only
gives occasional glimpses of to whet your curiosity,--he will discover
that thought-getting is almost a tantalizing process with great writers.
The teacher must spur and almost tantalize the children with a similar
shrewdness of question.

Problem-raising questions, involving thoughtful retrospect and shrewd
anticipation, questions which cannot be answered offhand but lead on to
a deeper study, are at a premium. Ruskin says:--

"And, therefore, first of all, I tell you earnestly and authoritatively
(I know I am right in this), you must get into the habit of looking
intensely at words and assuring yourself of their meaning, syllable by
syllable,--nay, letter by letter." Again he says, of a well-educated
gentleman, that "above all he is learned in the peerage of words; knows
the words of true descent and ancient blood at a glance from words of
modern canaille."

In order to make his thought unmistakable, I quote at length a passage
from Ruskin's "Sesame and Lilies":--

"And now, merely for example's sake, I will, with your permission, read
a few lines of a true book with you, carefully; and see what will come
out of them. I will take a book perfectly known to you all; no English
words are more familiar to us, yet nothing perhaps has been less read
with sincerity. I will take these few following lines of 'Lycidas':--

  "'Last came, and last did go,
  The pilot of the Galilean lake;
  Two massy keys he bore of metals twain,
  (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain),
  He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake,
  How well could I have spar'd for thee, young swain,
  Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
  Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold:
  Of other care they little reckoning make,
  Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast,
  And shove away the worthy bidden guest;
  Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
  A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else, the least
  That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs!
  What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
  And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
  Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
  The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
  But, swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
  Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
  Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
  Daily devours apace, and nothing said.'

"Let us think over this passage, and examine its words.

"First, is it not singular to find Milton assigning to St. Peter, not
only his full episcopal function, but the very types of it which
Protestants usually refuse most passionately? His 'mitred' locks! Milton
was no Bishop-lover; how comes St. Peter to be 'mitred'? 'Two massy keys
he bore.' Is this, then, the power of the keys claimed by the Bishops of
Rome, and is it acknowledged here by Milton only in a poetical license,
for the sake of its picturesqueness; that he may get the gleam of the
golden keys to help his effect? Do not think it. Great men do not play
stage tricks with doctrines of life and death: only little men do that.
Milton means what he says; and means it with his might, too,--is going
to put the whole strength of his spirit presently into the saying of it.
For though not a lover of false bishops, he was a lover of true ones;
and the lake-pilot is here, in his thoughts, the type and head of true
episcopal power. For Milton reads that text, 'I will give unto thee the
keys of the kingdom of Heaven,' quite honestly. Puritan though he be, he
would not blot it out of the book because there have been bad bishops;
nay, in order to understand him, we must understand that verse first; it
will not do to eye it askance, or whisper it under our breath, as if it
were a weapon of an adverse sect. It is a solemn, universal assertion,
deeply to be kept in mind by all sects. But perhaps we shall be better
able to reason on it if we go on a little farther, and come back to it.
For clearly, this marked insistence on the power of the true episcopate
is to make us feel more weightily what is to be charged against the
false claimants of episcopate; or generally, against false claimants of
power and rank in the body of the clergy; they who, 'for their bellies'
sake, creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold.'

"Do not think Milton uses those three words to fill up his verse, as a
loose writer would. He needs all the three; specially those three, and
no more than those--'creep,' and 'intrude,' and 'climb'; no other words
would or could serve the turn, and no more could be added. For they
exhaustively comprehend the three classes, correspondent to the three
characters, of men who dishonestly seek ecclesiastical power. First,
those who 'creep' into the fold; who do not care for office, nor name,
but for secret influence, and do all things occultly and cunningly,
consenting to any servility of office or conduct, so only that they may
intimately discern, and unawares direct the minds of men. Then those who
'intrude' (thrust, that is) themselves into the fold, who by natural
insolence of heart, and stout eloquence of tongue, and fearlessly
perseverant self-assertion, obtain hearing and authority with the common
crowd. Lastly, those who 'climb,' who by labor and learning, both stout
and sound, but selfishly exerted in the cause of their own ambition,
gain high dignities and authorities, and become 'lords over the
heritage,' though not 'ensamples to the flock.'

"Now go on:--

  "'Of other care they little reckoning make,
  Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast.
  Blind mouths--'

"I pause again, for this is a strange expression; a broken metaphor, one
might think, careless and unscholarly.

"Not so: its very audacity and pithiness are intended to make us look
close at the phrase and remember it. Those two monosyllables express the
precisely accurate contraries of right character, in the two great
offices of the Church--those of bishop and pastor.

"A Bishop means a person who sees.

"A Pastor means one who feeds.

"The most unbishoply character a man can have is therefore to be Blind.

"The most unpastoral is, instead of feeding, to want to be fed,--to be a

"Take the two reverses together, and you have 'blind mouths.' We may
advisably follow out this idea a little. Nearly all the evils in the
Church have arisen from bishops desiring power more than light. They
want authority, not outlook. Whereas their real office is not to rule;
though it may be vigorously to exhort and rebuke; it is the king's
office to rule; the bishop's office is to oversee the flock; to number
it, sheep by sheep; to be ready always to give full account of it. Now
it is clear he cannot give account of the souls, if he has not so much
as numbered the bodies of his flock. The first thing, therefore, that a
bishop has to do is at least to put himself in a position in which, at
any moment, he can obtain the history from childhood of every living
soul in his diocese, and of its present state. Down in that back street,
Bill, and Nancy, knocking each other's teeth out!--Does the bishop know
all about it? Has he his eye upon them? Has he had his eye upon them?
Can he circumstantially explain to us how Bill got into the habit of
beating Nancy about the head? If he cannot, he is no bishop, though he
had a mitre as high as Salisbury steeple; he is no bishop,--he has
sought to be at the helm instead of the masthead; he has no sight of
things. 'Nay,' you say, it is not his duty to look after Bill in the
back street. What! the fat sheep that have full fleeces--you think it is
only those he should look after, while (go back to your Milton) 'the
hungry sheep look up, and are not fed, besides what the grim wolf with
privy paw' (bishops knowing nothing about it) 'daily devours apace, and
nothing said'?

"'But that's not our idea of a bishop.' Perhaps not; but it was St.
Paul's; and it was Milton's. They may be right, or we may be; but we
must not think we are reading either one or the other by putting our
meaning into their words.

"I go on.

  "'But, swolln with wind, and the rank mist they draw.'

"This is to meet the vulgar answer that 'if the poor are not looked
after in their bodies, they are in their souls; they have spiritual

"And Milton says, 'They have no such thing as spiritual food; they are
only swolln with wind.' At first you may think that is a coarse type,
and an obscure one. But, again, it is a quite literally accurate one.
Take up your Latin and Greek dictionaries, and find out the meaning of
'Spirit.' It is only a contraction of the Latin word 'breath,' and an
indistinct translation of the Greek word for 'wind.' The same word is
used in writing. 'The wind bloweth where it listeth;' and 'So is every
one that is born of the Spirit,' born of the breath, that is, for it
means the breath of God, in soul and body. We have the true sense of it
in our words 'inspiration' and 'expire.' Now, there are two kinds of
breath with which the flock may be filled; God's breath and man's. The
breath of God is health and life and peace to them, as the air of heaven
is to the flocks on the hills; but man's breath--the word he calls
spiritual--is disease and contagion to them, as the fog of the fen. They
rot inwardly with it; they are puffed up by it, as a body by the vapors
of its own decomposition. This is literally true of all false religious
teaching; the first and last and fatalest sign of it is that 'puffing

"Lastly, let us return to the lines respecting the power of the keys,
for now we can understand them. Note the difference between Milton and
Dante in their interpretation of this power; for once the latter is
weaker in thought; he supposes both the keys to be of the gate of
heaven; one is of gold, the other of silver; they are given by St. Peter
to the sentinel angel, and it is not easy to determine the meaning
either of the substances of the three steps of the gate or of the two
keys. But Milton makes one, of gold, the key of heaven; the other, of
iron, the key of the prison, in which the wicked teachers are to be
bound who 'have taken away the key of knowledge, yet entered not in

"We have seen that the duties of bishop and pastor are to see and feed,
and, of all who do so, it is said, 'He that watereth, shall be watered
also himself.' But the reverse is truth also. He that watereth not,
shall be withered himself, and he that seeth not, shall himself be shut
out of sight,--shut into the perpetual prison house. And that prison
opens here as well as hereafter; he who is to be bound in heaven must
first be bound on earth. That command to the strong angels, of which the
rock-apostle is the image, 'Take him, and bind him hand and foot, and
cast him out,' issues, in its measure, against the teacher for every
help withheld, and for every truth refused, and for every falsehood
enforced; so that he is more strictly fettered the more he fetters, and
further outcast as he more and more misleads, till at last the bars of
the iron cage close upon him, and as 'the golden opes, the iron shuts

"We have got something out of the lines, I think, and much more is yet
to be found in them; but we have done enough by way of example of the
kind of word-by-word examination of your author which is rightly called
'reading,' watching every accent and expression, and putting ourselves
always in the author's place, annihilating our own personality, and
seeking to enter into his, so as to be able assuredly to say, 'Thus
Milton thought,' not 'Thus I thought, in misreading Milton.'"

3. In reading successive poems and prose selections from different
authors, strong resemblances in thought or language are frequently
detected. It is a thought-provoking process to bring such similar
passages to a definite comparison. Even where the same topic is treated
differently by two authors, the different or contrasted points of view
are suggestive. Calling such familiar passages to mind is in itself a
good practice, and it is well to cultivate this mode of turning previous
knowledge into use.

To illustrate this point, let us call to mind some familiar passages,
touching the winter snow-storm and the fireside comforts, from Whittier,
Emerson, and Lowell.

Whittier's description of a snow-storm in "Snow-Bound" is well known:--

  "Unwarmed by any sunset light
  The gray day darkened into night,
  A night made hoary with the swarm
  And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
  As zigzag wavering to and fro
  Crossed and recrossed the winged snow:
  And ere the early bedtime came
  The white drift piled the window-frame,
  And through the glass the clothes-line posts
  Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

  "So all night long the storm roared on:
  The morning broke without a sun;
  In tiny spherule traced with lines
  Of Nature's geometric signs,
  In starry flake and pellicle
  All day the hoary meteor fell;
  And, when the second morning shone,
  We looked upon a world unknown,
  On nothing we could call our own.
  Around the glistening wonder bent
  The blue walls of the firmament,
  No cloud above, no earth below,--
  A universe of sky and snow!
  The old familiar sights of ours
  Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
  Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
  Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
  A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
  A fenceless drift what once was road;
  The bridle-post an old man sat
  With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
  The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
  And even the long sweep, high aloof,
  In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
  Of Pisa's leaning miracle."

Again the fireside joy is expressed:--

  "Shut in from all the world without,
  We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
  Content to let the north-wind roar
  In baffled rage at pane and door,
  While the red logs before us beat
  The frost-line back with tropic heat;
  And ever, when a louder blast
  Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
  The merrier up its roaring draught
  The great throat of the chimney laughed,
  The house-dog on his paws outspread
  Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
  The cat's dark silhouette on the wall
  A couchant tiger's seemed to fall;
  And, for the winter fireside meet,
  Between the andirons' straddling feet,
  The mug of cider simmered slow,
  The apples sputtered in a row,
  And, close at hand, the basket stood
  With nuts from brown October's wood.

  "What matter how the night behaved?
  What matter how the north-wind raved?
  Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
  Could quench our hearth-fire's ruddy glow."

If these passages and others in "Snow-Bound" are familiar to the
children in previous study, the reading of Emerson's "The Snow-Storm,"
might set them to recalling a whole series of pictures from Whittier:--

  "Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
  Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
  Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
  Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
  And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
  The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
  Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
  Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
  In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

  "Come see the north wind's masonry.
  Out of an unseen quarry evermore,
  Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
  Curves his white bastions with projected roof
  Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
  Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
  So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
  For number or proportion. Mockingly,
  On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
  A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
  Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
  Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate
  A tapering turret overtops the work.
  And when his hours are numbered, and the world
  Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
  Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
  To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
  Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
  The frolic architecture of the snow."

The architecture of the snow can be compared point by point in both
authors, in the objects about the farmhouse, while the picture of the
snug comforts of the fireplace is in both.

Of a somewhat different, yet closely related, character is the
description in the Prelude to Part Second, in the "Vision of Sir

  "Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,
    From the snow five thousand summers old;
  On open wold and hill-top bleak
    It had gathered all the cold,
  And whirled it like sleet on the wanderer's cheek;
  It carried a shiver everywhere
  From the unleafed boughs and pastures bare;
  The little brook heard it and built a roof
  'Neath which he could house him, winter-proof;
  All night by the white stars' frosty gleams
  He groined his arches and matched his beams;
  Slender and clear were his crystal spars
  As the lashes of light that trim the stars;
  He sculptured every summer delight
  In his halls and chambers out of sight;
  Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt
  Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt,
  Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
  Bending to counterfeit a breeze;
  Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew
  But silvery mosses that downward grew;
  Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief
  With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf;
  Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear
  For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here
  He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops
  And hung them thickly with diamond drops,
  Which crystalled the beams of moon and sun,
  And made a star of every one:
  No mortal builder's most rare device
  Could match this winter-palace of ice;
  'Twas as if every image that mirrored lay
  In his depths serene through the summer day,
  Each flitting shadow of earth and sky,
    Lest the happy model should be lost,
  Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
    By the elfin builders of the frost.

  "Within the hall are the song and laughter,
    The cheeks of Christmas glow red and jolly,
  And sprouting is every corbel and rafter
    With the lightsome green of ivy and holly;
  Through the deep gulf of the chimney wide
  Wallows the Yule-log's roaring tide;
  The broad flame-pennons droop and flap
    And belly and tug as a flag in the wind;
  Like a locust shrills the imprisoned sap,
    Hunted to death in its galleries blind;
  And swift little troops of silent sparks,
    Now pausing, now scattering away as in fear,
  Go threading the soot-forest's tangled darks
    Like herds of startled deer."

The elfin builders of the frost have raised even more delicate
structures than the snow. The descriptive power of the poets in
picturing nature's handiwork cannot be better seen than in these
passages. It is hardly worth while to suggest the points of resemblance
which children will quickly detect in these passages, as the comparison

  "Through the deep gulf of the chimney wide
  Wallows the Yule-log's roaring tide,"

with this,--

  "The merrier up its roaring draught.
  The great throat of the chimney laughed."

Such passages, suggesting like thoughts in earlier studies, are very
frequent and spring up in unexpected quarters.

For example, Emerson, in "Waldeinsamkeit," says:--

  "I do not count the hours I spend
    In wandering by the sea;
  The forest is my loyal friend,
    Like God it useth me."

Again, in the "Apology," he says:--

  "Think me not unkind and rude
    That I walk alone in grove and glen;
  I go to the god of the wood
    To fetch his word to men."

And Lowell, in "The Bobolink":--

  "As long, long years ago I wandered,
  I seem to wander even yet.
  The hours the idle schoolboy squandered,
  The man would die ere he'd forget.
  O hours that frosty eld deemed wasted,
  Nodding his gray head toward my books,
  I dearer prize the lore I tasted
  With you, among the trees and brooks,
  Than all that I have gained since then
  From learned books or study-withered men."

And Whittier says:--

  "Our uncle, innocent of books,
  Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
  The ancient teachers never dumb
  Of Nature's unhoused lyceum."

It would not be difficult to recall other passages from Bryant,
Shakespeare, Byron, and many others, expressing this love of solitude in
woods or on the seashore, and the wisdom to be gained from such
communion with nature. This active retrospect to gather up kindred
thoughts out of previous studies and mingle them with the newer influx
of radiant ideas from master minds is a fruitful mode of assimilating
and compounding knowledge. It may be advisable at times for the teacher
to bring together a few additional passages from still wider sources,
expressive of a thought kindred to that worked out in the class. Such
study leads to a self-reliant, enthusiastic companionship with the
thoughts of great men, and is most profitable.

4. There is a pronounced value in dramatic representation of literary
selections. The impersonating of characters gives an intensity and
realism to the thought that cannot be effected in any other way. In some
cases it is possible to provide a stage and some degree of costuming, to
lend more complete realization of the scenes.

In favor of such dramatic efforts it may be said that children, even in
the earlier grades, are naturally dramatic, and enjoy greatly both
seeing and participating in them. It gives scope to their natural
tendency toward action, rather than repose, and proper verbal expression
is more easily secured in conjunction with action than without it. In
this connection it may be said that acting lends greater freedom and
spontaneity to the reading.

Schlegel, in his description of dramatic art, says:--

"Even in a lively oral narration, it is not unusual to introduce persons
in conversation with each other, and to give a corresponding variety to
the tone and the expression. But the gaps, which these conversations
leave in the story, the narrator fills up in his own name with a
description of the accompanying circumstances, and other particulars.
The dramatic poet must renounce all such expedients; but for this he is
richly recompensed in the following invention. He requires each of the
characters in his story to be personated by a living individual; that
this individual should, in sex, age, and figure, meet as near as may be
the prevalent conceptions of his fictitious original, nay, assume his
entire personality; that every speech should be delivered in a suitable
tone of voice, and accompanied by appropriate action and gesture; and
that those external circumstances should be added which are necessary to
give the hearers a clear idea of what is going forward. Moreover, these
representatives of the creatures of his imagination must appear in the
costume belonging to their assumed rank, and to their age and country;
partly for the sake of greater resemblance, and partly because, even in
dress, there is something characteristic. Lastly, he must see them
placed in a locality which, in some degree, resembles that where,
according to his fable, the action took place, because this also
contributes to the resemblance: he places them, _i.e._, on a scene. All
this brings us to the idea of the theatre. It is evident that the very
form of dramatic poetry, that is, the exhibition of an action by
dialogue without the aid of narrative, implies the theatre as its
necessary complement."

"The invention of dramatic art, and of the theatre, seems a very obvious
and natural one. Man has a great disposition to mimicry; when he enters
vividly into the situation, sentiments, and passions of others, he
involuntarily puts on a resemblance to them in his gestures. Children
are perpetually going out of themselves; it is one of their chief
amusements to represent those grown people whom they have had an
opportunity of observing, or whatever strikes their fancy; and with the
happy pliancy of their imagination, they can exhibit all the
characteristics of any dignity they may choose to assume, be it that of
a father, a schoolmaster, or a king."

In his book, "Imagination and Dramatic Instinct," S. S. Curry says:--

"Since dramatic instinct is so important, the question naturally arises
respecting the use of dialogues for its education. There are those who
think that all histrionic art is useless; that it is even deleterious to
character to assume a part.

"The best answer to this is the study of the little child. The very
first means a child adopts to get out of itself, or to realize the great
world about it, is by dramatic action and instinct. No child was ever
born with any mind at all, that had not some of this instinct; and the
more promising the child, the more is it dramatic and imaginative.
Dramatic instinct is universal. It is the secret of all success; it is
the instinct by which man sees things from different points of view, by
which he realizes the ideal in character in contrast to that which is
not ideal."

"Professor Monroe was once asked by a clergyman for private lessons. He
told him that was impossible. 'Well,' said the minister, 'what can I do
then?' 'Go home and read Shakespeare dramatically.' Why was such advice
given? Because the struggle to read Shakespeare would get the minister
out of himself. The struggle to realize how men of different types of
character would speak certain things would make him conscious whether
he, himself, spoke naturally. He would, in short, become aware of his
mannerisms, of his narrow gamut of emotions, his sameness of point of
view; he would be brought into direct contact with the process of his
own mind in thinking."

The supreme value of a vivid and versatile imagination in giving full
and rich development to the whole mind is now a vital part of our
confession of faith. The question is how to cultivate such a resourceful
imagination. The literature of the creative imagination is felt to be
the chief means, and the dramatic instinct toward interpreting,
assimilating and expressing human thought and feeling opens the avenue
of growth.

Dr. Curry says:--

"Dramatic instinct should be trained because it is a part of the
imagination, because it gives us practical steps toward the development
of the imagination, because it is the means of securing discipline and
power over feeling. Dramatic instinct should be trained because it is
the insight of one mind into another. The man who has killed his
dramatic instinct has become unsympathetic, and can never appreciate any
one's point of view but his own. Dramatic instinct endows us with broad
conceptions of the idiosyncrasies, beliefs, and convictions of men. It
trains us to unconscious reasoning, to a deep insight into the motives
of man. It is universally felt that one's power to 'other himself' is
the measure of the greatness of his personality. All sympathy, all union
of ourselves with the ideals and struggles of our race, are traceable to
imagination and dramatic instinct."

He further emphasizes the idea that dramatic instinct has two
elements--imagination and sympathy. "Imagination affords insight into
character; sympathy enables us to identify ourselves with it." "Together
they form the chief elements of altruism. They redeem the mind from
narrowness and selfishness; they enable the individual to appreciate the
point of view, the feelings, motives, and characters of his fellow-men;
they open his eyes to read the various languages of human art; they
enable him to commune with his kind on a higher plane than that of
commonplace facts; they lift him into communion with the art and spirit
of every age and nation. Without their development man is excluded from
the highest enjoyment, the highest communion with his kind, and from the
highest success in every walk of life."

Dramatization is the only means by which we can bring the reading work
of the school to its full and natural expression. The action involved in
it predisposes the mind to full and natural utterance. The fulfilment of
all the dramatic conditions lends an impetus and genuineness to every
word that is spoken. It has been often observed that boys and girls
whose reading is somewhat expressionless become direct and forcible when
taking a part in a dialogue or dramatic action. It would be almost
farcical not to put force and meaning into the words when all the other
elements of action and realism are present.

Educational progress is everywhere exerting a distinct pressure at those
points where greater realism, deeper absorption in actualities, is
possible. This is the significance of outdoor excursions, of
experiments, laboratories, and object work in nature study. In geography
and history it is the purpose of pictures, vivid descriptions,
biographical stories, and the accounts of eye-witnesses and real
travellers, etc.

In literature we possess, embodied in striking concrete personalities,
many of the most forcible ideas that men have conceived and dealt with
in the history of the world. It is very desirable that children should
become themselves the vehicles for the expression of these ideas. The
school is the place where children should become the embodiment of
ideas. It would be a grand and not impractical scheme of education to
propose to make the school a place where each child, in a well-chosen
succession, should be allowed to impersonate and become the embodiment
of the constructive ideas of our civilization.

We reason much concerning the educative value of carpentry, of the
various forms of manual skill in wood and iron, of weaving, gardening,
and cooking, of the work of shoemaker, basket-maker, and potter, and of
the educative value of these constructive activities; for the purposes
of universal education, is it not of equal importance that children
become skilled in the histrionic art, in the apt interpretation and
expression of good manners, in that deeper social insight and versatile
tact which are the constructive elements in conduct? Or, putting it in
a more obvious form, is it any more important for a person to know how
to construct a bookcase or even a steam-engine, than to shape his speech
or conduct skilfully in meeting a board of education or a business

It is not the purpose of the school to educate players or public
readers, any more than to train carpenters or machinists. But the
reading exercises in school should culminate in the ability to
sympathetically interpret a considerable variety of human life and
character as presented in our best literature. Modern educators,
however, are not satisfied, in any important study, with theoretical
knowledge derived from books. They demand that knowledge shall pass over
into some sort of practice and use. Reading passes naturally and without
a break from the interpretation of life to its embodiment in conduct. In
this important respect it is the most practical of all studies. Its
subject matter, derived from literature, consists largely of an
interesting variety of typical and artistically beautiful character
delineations from the hands of the supreme master of this art. Dramatic
representation is the last and indispensable step in the art of reading;
and the interest that naturally attaches to it, from early childhood up
through all the stages of growth, removes one chief obstacle to its

Keeping in mind that wisdom, skill, and versatility in conduct are the
natural and appropriate outcome of successful dramatic representation,
it is not at all extravagant to say that the average child will have far
more use for this result, both now and in all the vicissitudes of later
life, than for skill in carpentry, or ironwork, or weaving, etc.

Nor have we any disposition to detract from the value usually attributed
to manual training in its various forms by its advocates.

It is not uncommon for teachers generally to employ the dialogue form
when the selection admits of it, and to assign the parts to different
children. Our purpose, however, in the fuller discussion and emphasis of
the dramatic element is to suggest a more liberal employment of dramatic
selections, and to provide for a much fuller dramatic representation,
using simple, inexpensive costumes and stage surroundings where

When we examine in detail the number of dramatic selections in a set of
readers, or among the masterpieces sometimes read in the classes below
the high school, we shall find a number of purely dramatic works. "The
Merchant of Venice" and "Julius Cæsar" are well adapted to seventh and
eighth grades, and there are many selections in which the dialogue is an
important feature, as in "The Cricket on the Hearth," "King of the
Golden River," "Tanglewood Tales," "Lady of the Lake," "Marmion,"
"Pilgrim's Progress," "Grandfather's Chair," and many others.

"The Courtship of Miles Standish" has been published in a form
specially adapted for school exhibitions by Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.
Longfellow's "Giles Corey of the Salem Farms," in the "Riverside
Series," is a drama well suited to sixth grade. The story of "William
Tell," derived from Schiller's drama, is adapted to sixth and possibly
to fifth grade.

Some of the ballads are cast in the form of the dialogue, and can be
easily treated so in the school, as "Proud Lady Margaret," "Robin Hood
and the Widow's Sons," "King John and the Abbot of Canterbury," and many
others. The Robin Hood stories are full of dialogue and could be easily
dramatized, and so with "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and others.

An examination of our literature from this point of view will discover a
strong dramatic element in a large portion of it, and the cultivation of
this spirit will qualify the children for a better appreciation of many
of the great works.

5. Treatment of the "Odyssey."

The "Odyssey" is probably as well known as any masterpiece in the
world's literature. For the sake of illustration, therefore, we will
enter upon a brief discussion of the mode of handling it as a unit in
the school.

There are abundant sources in English from which the teacher can get an
adequate knowledge of this great poem without using the original Greek.
A few of the leading books which the teacher may consult are as follows:
"The Story of Ulysses" (Cook). A very simple, abbreviated narrative of
Ulysses' wanderings, sometimes used as a reading book in fourth or fifth
grade. (Public School Publishing Co.)--"Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses." A
pleasing prose rendering of the chief incidents of the story, more
difficult than the preceding. Sometimes used as a reader. (Ginn &
Co.)--"Church's Stories of the Old World," in which "The Adventures of
Ulysses" forms a chapter. A good short treatment of the story in simple
language. (Ginn & Co.)--"Ulysses among the Phæacians," consisting of
selections from five books of the "Odyssey" as translated into verse by
Bryant. This seems well adapted for use as a reading-book in fourth or
fifth grade, and will be discussed more fully as such. (Houghton,
Mifflin, & Co.)--"The Odyssey of Homer" by Palmer, is an excellent
prose-poetic rendering of the whole poem, and is of great service to the
teacher. (Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.)--Another excellent prose
translation, by Butcher and Lang, has been much used. (The Macmillan
Co.)--Bryant's "Homer's 'Odyssey,'" a complete poetic rendering of the
whole twenty-four books of the poem, is probably the best basis for
school reference and study of the poem.--"National Epics," by Rabb, has
a good narrative and introduction for the "Odyssey," and a list of
critical references. (A. C. McClurg & Co.)--"Art and Humanity in Homer,"
by Lawton, has an interesting discussion of the "Odyssey." Other famous
translations of the whole "Odyssey" were made by Alexander Pope, William
Cowper, George Chapman, and others.

It is not unusual in schools for teachers to give children of the third
or fourth grade an oral introduction to the whole story in a series of
lessons. This requires skill in presenting and discussing the episodes,
and should be attended by good oral reproductions by the children. Such
oral work should be done in distinct lessons apart from the regular
reading. Later, in fourth or fifth grade, the story is sometimes read in
class from one of the simple prose narratives of Miss Cook, or Lamb, or
Church. In the fifth or sixth grade, "Ulysses among the Phæacians" forms
an interesting reading-book, with which to acquaint the children more
fully with the poetic beauty and descriptive detail of the original, so
far as it can be secured in English. In connection with such reading it
may be interesting to choose from Bryant's complete translation other
selected parts of the story, and encourage the children to read them, if
books from the library or homes can be provided.

We may dwell for a moment upon those qualities of Homer's story which
have commanded the admiration of the great poets in different ages and
countries. The peculiar poetic charm and power of the original Greek are
probably untranslatable, although several eminent poets have attempted
it. But we have at least both prose and verse renderings of it that are
beautiful and poetic.

Some of the critics have said that the whole poem is a perfect unit in
thought,--much more so than the "Iliad,"--centring in the person of
Ulysses. His wanderings and his final return constitute the thread of
the narrative. In the main it is a story of peace, with descriptions of
cities, islands, palaces, strange lands, and peaceful arts and manners.
After their return from Troy we meet Nestor and Menelaus, dwelling
happily in their palaces and surrounded with home comforts. Ulysses,
himself, the great sufferer, is tossed about the world, or held captive
on sea-girt, far-away islands. He passes through a series of wonderful
adventures, keeping his alertness and balance of mind so completely that
his name has become a synonym in all lands for shrewdness and far-seeing
wisdom. And it is not only a wise perception, but a self-control in the
midst of old and new temptations which is most remarkable. This
over-mastering shrewdness or calculation even overdoes itself and
becomes amusing, when he tries, for example, to deceive his guardian
goddess as to who he is. The descriptions of women and of domestic life
are famous and delightful. The constancy of Penelope, her industry and
shrewdness in outwitting the suitors, have given her a supreme place
among the women of story. The descriptions of peaceful manners and
customs, of public games, of feasting and music, of palace halls and
ornament, are among the great literary pictures of the world.

The particular adventures through which Ulysses passed with Circe, with
the Sirens, with Polyphemus, with Eolus, with the lotus-eaters, and
others, are plainly suggestive of the dangers which threaten the
thoughtless minded, those who plunge headlong into danger without
forethought. Ulysses does not give way to folly or passion, is bold and
skilful in danger, and persevering to the last extreme.

In the treatment of the "Odyssey," the teacher will need a general
knowledge of Greek mythology, which can be easily derived from "Greek
Gods, Heroes, and Men" (Scott, Foresman, & Co.), and from several other
of the reference books. Some study of Greek architecture, sculpture, and
modes of life will be instructive and helpful, as given in Smith's
"History of Greece" and other histories. Pictures of Greek temples and
ruins, sculpture, and palaces will be pleasing and attractive to
children. (See Lübke's "History of Art," Vol. I, Dodd, Mead, & Co.) Some
of the children's books also contain good pictures.

A good map, indicating the supposed wanderings of Ulysses in the
Mediterranean, is given in several of the books, _e.g._ in Palmer's
"Odyssey," and fixes many of the most interesting events of the story.
The teacher should not overlook the geography of the story and its
relation to this and later studies in history, literature, and

In using "Ulysses among the Phæacians" as a reader in fourth or fifth
grade, the first unit of study is the voyage of Ulysses on his raft,
from the time of leaving Calypso till he is wrecked by the storm and
driven upon the island of Scheria, the home of the Phæacians. We will
suggest a few points in the treatment. The supposed places and the route
of the voyage can be traced on the map. Let the teacher sketch it on the
board in assigning the lesson. Suggest that the children locate in the
sky the stars and constellations by which Ulysses is to direct his
course. The story of the construction of the raft on which Ulysses is to
make this journey, just preceding this part of the story, could be read
to the class by the teacher, as it is not contained in these extracts.
In length of time how does this voyage compare with a voyage across the
Atlantic to-day? Why is it said, in line 329, that the Great Bear "alone
dips not into the waters of the deep"?

From previous studies, the children may be able to tell of Ulysses' stay
upon the island with Calypso. What may the children know of Neptune? Why
is he angered with Ulysses? A picture of Neptune with the trident is in
place. Explain the expression "while from above the night fell
suddenly." Was Ulysses justified in saying, "Now must I die a miserable
death"? In spite of the desperate storm, in what ways does Ulysses
struggle to save his life? How do the gods assist him? In what way does
this experience of Ulysses remind us of Robinson Crusoe's shipwreck and

With how many men had Ulysses started on his way to Troy? Now he alone
escapes after great suffering and hopeless buffetings. In what way
during this voyage and shipwreck did Ulysses display his accustomed
shrewdness and foresight? After landing, what dangers did he still fear?

The nearly three hundred lines of Book V, which give this account of
Ulysses' voyage and shipwreck, will require several lessons, and the
above questions are but a few of those raised in its reading and
discussion. When Neptune, Ulysses, or Ino speak, let the speaker be
impersonated so as to give greater force and reality. In the next book
(VI), there is more of dialogue and better opportunity for variety of
manner and voice.

It would be tedious to enter into further detail suggesting questions.
But we may believe that a spirited treatment of this part of the story
of Ulysses in reading lessons, including his stay and treatment among
the Phæacians, will give the children much appreciation of the beauty
and power of this old story. By means of occasional readings of other
selected parts of the "Odyssey," from Bryant or Palmer, some of the most
striking pictures in the story of his wanderings can be presented. Even
the children may find time for some of this additional, outside reading.
In any event the story of Ulysses, as a piece of great literature, can
thus be brought home to the understandings and hearts of children, and
will constitute henceforward a part of that rich furniture of the mind
which we call culture.


1. The teacher's effort is first directed to a vivid interpretation of
the author's thought and feeling, and later to an expressive rendering
of the thought.

2. Every exertion should be made to lead the children to an absorbed and
interested attention in the selections.

3. The author's leading motive in the whole selection should be firmly
grasped by the teacher. By centring all discussion toward this motive,
unnecessary digressions will be avoided.

4. The teacher will hardly teach well unless he has saturated himself
with the spirit of the selection, and enjoys it. To this end he needs
not only to study the selection, but also the historical, geographical,
biographical, and other side-lights.

5. The teacher needs great freedom and versatility in the use of his
materials. Warmth, animation, and freedom of manner are necessary.

6. Children often do not know how to study a reading lesson. In the
assignment and in the way of handling the lesson they should be taught
how to get at it, how to understand and enjoy it.

7. In the assignment of the lesson the thought of the piece should be
opened up in an interesting way, and such difficulties as children are
not likely to grapple with and master for themselves pointed out and
approached. Difficult words need to be pronounced and hard passages

8. The assignment should be unmistakably clear and definite, so as to
insure a good seat study.

9. The seat study should be chiefly on parts already discussed in class.

10. During the recitation proper, strong class attention by all the
members of the class is a first necessity. Much knowledge, alertness,
and skill are necessary to secure this. One must keep all the members of
the class in the eye constantly, and distribute the questions and work
among them promptly and judiciously, so as to secure concentrated

11. The teacher can often judge a recitation better without looking at
the book while the class is reading.

12. Skill in questioning is very useful in reading lessons.

  (_a_) Questions to arouse the thought should appeal to the experience
        of children.

  (_b_) Questions to bring out the meaning of words or passages, or
        to expose errors or to develop thought, should be clear and
        specific, not long and ambiguous.

13. Let the teacher be satisfied with reasonable answers, and not insist
on the precise verbal form present to his own mind.

14. The teacher needs to awaken strongly the imagination in picturing
scenes, in interpreting poetic images and figures, and in impersonating
characters. The picture-forming power is stimulated by apt questions, by
suggestion of the teacher, by interpretation, by appeal to experience,
by dramatic action.

15. The use of the dialogue and dramatic representation is among the
best means of awakening interest and producing freedom and

16. The pupil should give his own interpretation, subject to correction,
and interpret parts in relation to the whole.

17. Without too much loss of time children should learn to help
themselves in overcoming difficulties in solving problems.

18. Sometimes it is well for children to come prepared to ask definite
questions on parts they do not understand.

19. The tendency to more independent and mature thinking is encouraged
by comparing similar ideas, figures of speech, and language in different
poems and from different authors.

20. There should be much effective reading and not much mere oral
reproduction. The paraphrase may be used at times to give the pupil a
larger view of the content of the piece.

21. Let the pupil reading feel responsible for giving to the class the
content of the printed page. Often it is best to face the class.

22. The teacher should occasionally read a passage in the best style for
the pupils, not for direct imitation, but to suggest the higher ideals
and spirit of good reading. A high standard is thus set up.

23. Children should be encouraged to learn by heart the passages they
like. In the midst of the recitation it is well occasionally to memorize
a passage.

24. The teacher must drill himself in clear-cut enunciation of short
vowels, final consonants, and pure vowel sounds. Cultivate also a quick
ear for accurate enunciation in the pupils and for pleasing tones.
Frequent drill exercise, singly and in concert, is necessary.

25. Use ingenuity by indirect methods to overcome nasality, stuttering,
nervously rapid reading, slovenly and careless expression, monotone, and

26. By means of physical training, deep breathing, vigorous thought
work, encourage to self-reliant manner and good physical position.

27. Give variety to each lesson; avoid monotony and humdrum.

28. Each lesson should emphasize a particular aim, determined by the
nature of the selection or by the previous bad habits and faults of the
children in reading. It is impossible to give proper emphasis to all
things in each lesson, and indefiniteness and monotony are the result.



In discussing the value and fruitfulness of this field of study to
children, it is impossible to forbear the suggestion of its scope and
significance for teachers. If the masters of song and expression are
able to work so strongly upon the immature minds of children, how much
deeper the influence upon the mature and thoughtful minds of teachable
teachers! They above all others should have dispositions receptive of
the best educational influences. The duties and experiences of their
daily work predispose them toward an earnest and teachable spirit. In
very many cases, therefore, their minds are wide open to the reception
of the best. And how deep and wide and many-sided is this
enfranchisement of the soul through literature!

It is a gateway to history; not, however, that castaway shell which our
text-books, in the form of a dull recital of facts, call history; but
its heart and soul, the living, breathing men and women, the source and
incentive of great movements and struggles toward the light. Literature
does not make the study of history superfluous, but it puts a purpose
into history which lies deeper than the facts, it sifts out the wheat
from the chaff, casts aside the superficial and accidental, and gets
down into the deep current of events where living causes are at work.

The "Courtship of Miles Standish," for example, is deeper and stronger
than history because it idealizes the stern and rigid qualities of the
Puritan, while John Alden and Priscilla touch a deeper universal
sympathy, and body forth in forms of beauty that pulsing human love
which antedates the Puritan and underlies all forms of religion and

Illustrative cases have been given in sufficient abundance to show that
literature, among other things, has a strong political side. It grasps
with a master hand those questions which involve true patriotism. It
exalts them into ideals, and fires the hearts of the people to devotion
and sacrifice for their fulfilment.

Burke's "Oration on the American War" is, to one who has studied
American history, an astonishing confirmation of how righteous and
far-sighted were the principles for which Samuel Adams and the other
patriots struggled at the opening of the Revolution. Webster's speech at
Bunker Hill is a graphic and fervent retrospect on the past of a great
struggle, and a prophetic view of the swelling tide of individual,
social, and national well-being.

If the teacher is to interpret history to school children, he must learn
to grasp what is essential and vital; he must be able to discriminate
between those events which are trivial and those of lasting concern. The
study of our best American literature will reveal to him this
distinction, and make him a keen and comprehensive critic of political

Barnett, in his "Common Sense in Education and Teaching" (p. 170),

"In the second place, literature provides us with historical landmarks.
We cannot be said to understand the general 'history' of a particular
time unless we know something of the thought that stirred its most
subtle thinkers, and interpreted and made articulate the spirit of the
times in which they lived. The most notable facts in the history of the
times of Edward III, of Elizabeth, and of Victoria are that Chaucer and
Shakespeare and Tennyson and their contemporaries lived and wrote.
Political history, social history, economic history, even ecclesiastical
history, are all reflected, illustrated, and interpreted by what we find
in the great works of contemporary literature."

Charles Kingsley, in his "Literary and General Essays" (p. 249), holds a
like opinion:--

"I said that the ages of history were analogous to the ages of man, and
that each age of literature was the truest picture of the history of its
day, and for this very reason English literature is the best, perhaps
the only, teacher of English history, to women especially. For it seems
to me that it is principally by the help of such an extended literary
course that we can cultivate a just and enlarged taste which will
connect education with the deepest feelings of the heart."

Literature is also a mirror that reflects many sides of social life and
usage. There is no part of a teacher's education that is so vital to his
practical success as social culture. John Locke's "Thoughts on
Education" are, in the main, an inquiry into the methods and means by
which an English gentleman can be formed. The aim of the tutor who has
this difficult task is not chiefly to give learning, to fill the mind
with information, to develop mentality, but to train the practical
judgment in harmony with gentlemanly conduct. The tutor, himself a
scholar, is to know the world, its ins and outs, its varieties of social
distinction and usage, its snares and pitfalls, its wise men and fools.
The child is to learn to look the world in the face and understand it,
to know himself and to be master of himself and of his conduct, to
appreciate other people in their moods and characters, and to adapt
himself prudently and with tact to the practical needs. The gentleman
whom Locke sets up as his ideal is not a fashion-plate figure, not a
drawing-room gallant, but a clear-headed man who understands other
people and himself, and has been led by insensible degrees to so shape
his habitual conduct as most wisely to answer his needs in the real
world. Emerson, with all his lofty idealism and unconventionalism, has
an ideal of education nearly akin to that of Locke. This social ideal
of Locke and Emerson is one that American teachers can well afford to
ponder. As a nation, we have been accustomed to think that a certain
amount of roughness and boorishness was necessary as a veil to cover the
strongest manly qualities. Smoothness and tact and polish, however
successful they may be in real life, are, theoretically at least, at a
discount. The Adamses, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Thoreau, were men
who did violence in a good many ways to social usages, and we may admire
their faults overmuch.

To the teacher who stands in the presence of thirty or fifty distinct
species of incipient men and women, social insight and culture, the
ability to appreciate each in his individual traits, his strength or
weakness, are a prime essential to good educative work.

Now, there are two avenues through which social culture is
attainable,--contact with men and women in the social environment which
envelops us all, and literature. Literature is, first of all, a
hundred-sided revelation of human conduct as springing from motive.
Irving, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Holmes, and Lowell are revealers of
humanity. Still more so are Dickens and Eliot and Shakespeare and
Goethe. To study these authors is not simply to enjoy the graphic power
of an artist, but to look into the lives of so many varieties of men and
women. They lay bare the heart and its inward promptings. Our
appreciation for many forms of life under widely differing conditions
is awakened. We come in touch with those typical varieties of men and
women whom we shall daily meet if we will but notice. It broadens one's
perceptions and sympathies, it reveals the many-sidedness of human life.
It suggests to a teacher that the forty varieties of humanity in her
schoolroom are not after one pattern, nor to be manipulated according to
a single device.

The social life that surrounds each one of us is small and limited. Our
intimate companionships are few, and we can see deeply into the inner
life of but a small portion even of those about us. The deeper life of
thought and feeling is largely covered up with conventionalities and
externalities. But in the works of the best novelists, dramatists, and
poets, we may look abroad into the whole world of time and place, upon
an infinite variety of social conditions, and we are permitted to see
directly into the inner thought and motive, the very soul of the actors.
Yet fidelity to human nature and real life is claimed to be the peculiar
merit of these great writers. By the common consent of critics,
Shakespeare is the prince of character delineators. Schlegel says of

"Shakespeare's knowledge of mankind has become proverbial; in this his
superiority is so great that he has justly been called the master of the
human heart. A readiness to remark the mind's fainter and involuntary
utterances, and the power to express with certainty the meaning of these
signs, as determined by experience and reflection, constitute 'the
observer of men.'"

"After all, a man acts so because he is so. And what each man is, that
Shakespeare reveals to us most immediately; he demands and obtains our
belief, even for what is singular and deviates from the ordinary course
of nature. Never perhaps was there so comprehensive a talent for
characterization as Shakespeare. It not only grasps every diversity of
rank, age, and sex, down to the lispings of infancy; not only do the
king and the beggar, the hero and the pickpocket, the sage and the
idiot, speak and act with equal truthfulness; not only does he transport
himself to distant ages and foreign nations, and portray with the
greatest accuracy (a few apparent violations of costume excepted) the
spirit of the ancient Romans, of the French in the wars with the
English, of the English themselves during a great part of their history,
of the Southern Europeans (in the serious part of many comedies), the
cultivated society of the day, and the rude barbarism of a Norman
foretime; his human characters have not only such depth and
individuality that they do not admit of being classed under common
names, and are inexhaustible even in conception,--no, this Prometheus
not merely forms men, he opens the gates of the magical world of

What is true of Shakespeare in a preëminent degree is true to a marked
extent of all the great novelists and poets.

The teacher needs to possess great versatility and tact in social
situations. A quick insight, social ease, freedom, and self-possession
are of the first importance to him. The power of sympathy, of
appreciation for others' feelings and difficulties, is wholly dependent
upon such social cultivation. Otherwise the teacher will be rude, even
uncouth and boorish in manner, producing friction and ill-will where
tact and gentleness would bring sympathy and confidence. Many people
absorb this refinement of thought and manner from the social circles
with which they mingle, and it is, of course, a smiling fortune that has
placed a teacher's early life in a happy and cultured atmosphere, where
the social sympathies and graces are absorbed almost unconsciously. But
even where the earlier conditions have been less favorable, the
opportunity for rapid social development and culture is most promising.
The numberless cases in our country in which young people, by the
strength of their energetic purpose and desire for improvement, have
raised themselves not only to superior knowledge and scholarship, but
also to that far greater refinement of social life and manner which we
call true culture,--the numberless instances of this sort are a
surprising indication of the power of education. Literature has been a
potent agent in this direction. It emancipates, it sets free, the spirit
of man. It lifts him above what is sordid and material, and gives him
those true standards of worth with which to measure all things. It
contains within itself the refining elements, the æsthetic and ethical
ideals, and, best of all, it portrays human life in all its thought,
feeling, and passion with such intensity and realistic fidelity that its
teaching power is unparalleled.

This potentiality of the better literature to produce such noble results
in the higher range of culture is dependent upon conditions. No one will
understand literature who does not study and understand ordinary life as
it surrounds him; who does not constantly draw upon his own experience
in interpreting the characters portrayed in books. No stupid or
unobservant person will be made wise through books, be they never so
choice. Even the student who works laboriously at his text-books, but
has no eye nor care for the people or doings about him, is getting only
the mechanical side of education, and is losing the better part. He who
will draw riches out of books must put his intellect and sympathy, his
whole enthusiastic better self, into them.

The indwelling virtue of great books is that they demand this intense
awakening, this complete absorption of the whole self. The mind of a
child and of a man or woman has to stretch itself to the utmost limit to
take in the message of a great writer. One feels the old barriers giving
way and the mind expanding to the conception of larger things. Speaking
of the ancient drama at Athens, Shelley says, "The imagination is
enlarged by a sympathy with pains and passions so mighty that they
distend in their conception the capacity of that by which they are

Those who have received into the inner self the expansive energy of
noble thought and social culture, are the better qualified, from the
rich variety of the inner life, to act effectively upon the complex
conditions and forces of the outer world. The teacher whose inner life
is teeming with these rich sympathies and potent ideals will react with
greater prudence and tact upon the kaleidoscopic conditions of a school.

Practical social life and literature are not distinct modes of culture.
They are one, they interact upon each other in scores of ways. Give a
teacher social opportunities, give him the best of our literature, let
these two work their full influence upon him,--then, if he cannot become
a teacher, it is a hopeless case. Let him go to the shop, to the farm,
to the legislature; there is no place for him in the schoolroom.

Literature is also a sharp and caustic critic of his own follies or
foibles, to one who can reflect. It has a multitude of surprises by
which we are able, as Burns wished,--

  "To see oursels as ithers see us."

Even the schoolmaster finds an occasional apt description of himself in
literature which it is often interesting and entertaining for him to
ponder. One of the most familiar is that of Goldsmith in "The Deserted

  "Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
  With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
  There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule,
  The village master taught his little school.
  A man severe he was, and stern to view;
  I knew him well, and every truant knew:
  Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
  The day's disasters in his morning face;
  Full well they laugh'd, with counterfeited glee,
  At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
  Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
  Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd.
  Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
  The love he bore to learning was in fault.
  The village all declar'd how much he knew;
  'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
  Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
  And even the story ran that he could gauge;
  In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill,
  For even though vanquish'd he could argue still;
  While words of learned length and thundering sound
  Amaz'd the gazing rustics ranged around;
  And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew
  That one small head could carry all he knew."

A like entertainment and suggestion of what the schoolmaster may be, as
seen by others, are furnished by Irving's Ichabod Crane. William
Shenstone's description of the schoolmistress and the school near two
hundred years ago in his native village, is very diverting. Charles
Dickens's description of schools and schoolmasters is important in the
history of England, and, like his portrayals of child life generally, of
deep pedagogical worth to teachers.

In his book, "The Schoolmaster in Literature," Mr. Skinner has done a
real service to the teaching world in bringing together, into a
convenient compilation from many sources, the literature bearing
directly upon the schoolmaster. Even the comic representations and
caricatures are valuable in calling attention to common foibles and
mannerisms, to say nothing of the more serious faults of teachers.

It is in literature, also, and in those lives and scenes from history
which literary artists have worked up, that the teacher can best develop
his own moral ideals and strengthen the groundwork of his own moral
character. The stream will not rise above its source, and a teacher's
moral influence in a school will not reach above the inspirations from
high sources which he himself has felt. Those teachers who have devoted
themselves solely to the mastery of the texts they teach, who have read
little from our best writers, are drawing upon a slender capital of
moral resource. Not even if home influences have laid a sound basis of
moral habits are these sufficient reserves for the exigencies of
teaching. The moral nature of the teacher needs constant stimulus to
upward growing, and the children need examples, ideal illustrations,
life and blood impersonations of the virtues; and literature is the
chief and only safe reservoir from which to draw them.

We have already discussed the moral value of the right books for
children. The lessons of the great works are so profound in this respect
that they offer a still wider range of study to the teacher. Even the
foremost thinkers and philosophers have found therein an inexhaustible
source of truth and wisdom.

In the Foreword to his "Great Books as Life Teachers," Newell Dwight
Hillis says, "For some reason our generation has closed its text-books
on ethics and morals, and opened the great poems, essays, and novels."
This is a remarkable statement and is the key-note to a silent but
sweeping change in education. He adds, "Doubtless for thoughtful persons
this fact argues, not a decline of interest in the fundamental
principles of right living, but a desire to study these principles as
they are made flesh and embodied in living persons." Again, "It seems
important to remember that the great novelists are consciously or
unconsciously teachers of morals, while the most fascinating essays and
poems are essentially books of aspiration and spiritual culture."

It is suggestive to note that this fundamental text is worked out in his
book by chapters on Ruskin's "Seven Lamps of Architecture," George
Eliot's "Romola," Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter," Victor Hugo's "Les
Miserables," Tennyson's "Idylls of the King," and Browning's "Saul."
This suggests a fruitful line of studies for every teacher.

Among modern essayists, Emerson, Carlyle, Ruskin, and Matthew Arnold
stand preëminent, and they are already well established among the
mightiest teachers of our age, and it may be, of many to come. Sure it
is that teachers could not do better than put themselves within earshot
of these resonant voices. Their heart-strings will vibrate and their
intellects will be stretched to a full tension, not simply by the music,
but by the truth which surges up and bursts into utterance. It is
scarcely a figure of speech to say that the lightning flashes across
their pages. The stinging rebuke of wrong, the noble ideals of
righteousness, place them among the prophets whose tongues have been
touched with fire from the altar.

Besides the historical, social, and moral tuition for teachers in
literature, there are several other important culture effects in it. The
deepest religious incentives are touched, nature in her myriad phases is
observed with the eye of the poet and scientist, and the æsthetic side
of poetry and rhythmic prose, its charm and graces of style, its music
and eloquence, work their influence upon the reader. Literature is a
harp of many strings, and happy is that teacher who has learned to
detect its tones and overtones, who has listened with pleasure to its
varied raptures, and has felt that expansion of soul which it produces.

Literature, in the sense in which we have been using it, has been called
the literature of power, the literature of the spirit. That is, it has
generative, spiritual life. It is not simple knowledge, it is knowledge
energized, charged with potency. It is knowledge into which the poet has
breathed the breath of life. The difference between bare knowledge and
the literature of power is like the difference between a perfect statue
in stone and a living, pulsing, human form.

One of the virtues of literature, therefore, is the mental stimulus, the
joy, the awakening, the intensity of thought it spontaneously calls
forth. Textbooks are usually a bore, but literature is a natural
resource even in hours of weariness. Who would dream of enlivening
leisure hours or vacation rest with text-books of grammar, or
arithmetic, or history, or science? But the poet soothes with music,
solemn or gay, according to our choice. If we go to the woods or lakes
to escape our friends, we take one of the masters of song with us. After
a day of toil and weariness, we can turn to "Evangeline," or "Lady of
the Lake," or the "Vision of Sir Launfal," and soon we are listening

  "The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,"

or the echo of the hunter's horn,--

  "The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay
  Resounded up the rocky way,
  And faint, from farther distance borne,
  Were heard the clanging hoof and horn."

At a time when we are not fit for the irksome and perfunctory
preparation of text-book lessons, we are still capable of receiving
abundant entertainment or hearty inspiration from Warner's "How I killed
a Bear," or Tennyson's "Enoch Arden," or "Sleepy Hollow." Literature is
recreation in its double sense. It gives rest and relief, and it builds

Teachers should shake themselves free from the conviction that severe
disciplinary studies are the best part of education. They have their
well-merited place. But there are higher spiritual fountains from which
to draw. Read the lives of Scott, Macaulay, Irving, Hawthorne, and
Emerson, and discover that the things we do with the greatest inward
spontaneity and pleasure and ease are often the best.

Literature, both in prose and verse, is what the teacher needs, because
our best authors are our best teachers in their method of handling their
subjects. They know how to find access to the reader's mind by making
their ideas attractive, interesting, and beautiful. They seem to know
how to sharpen the edge of truth to render it more keen and incisive.
They drive truth deeper, so that it remains embedded in the life and
thought. Let a poet clothe an idea with strength and wing it with fancy,
and it will find its way straight to the heart. First of all, nearly
all our classic writers, especially those we use in the grades, handle
their subjects from the concrete, graphic, picturesque side. They not
only illustrate abundantly from nature and real things in life; they
nearly always individualize and personify their ideas. Virtue to a poet
is nothing unless it is impersonated. A true poet is never abstract or
dry or formal in his treatment of a subject. It is natural for a
literary artist, whether in verse or prose, to create pictures, to put
all his ideas into life forms and bring them close to the real ones in
nature. Homer's idea of wisdom is Minerva, war is Mars, strength is
Ajax, skill and prudence are Ulysses, faithfulness is Penelope. Dickens
does not talk about schoolmasters in general, but of Squeers.
Shakespeare's idea of jealousy is not a definition, not a formula, but
Othello. Those books which have enthralled the world, like "Robinson
Crusoe," "Pilgrim's Progress," "Gulliver's Travels," "Arabian Nights,"
"Evangeline," "Ivanhoe," "Merchant of Venice,"--they deal with no form
of classified or generalized knowledge; they give us no definitions,
they are scenes from real life. They stand among realities, and their
roots are down in the soil of things. They are persons hemmed in by the
close environment of facts.

This realism, this objectifying of thought, this living form of
knowledge, is characteristic of all great writers in prose or verse.
The novelist, the romancer, the poet, the orator, and even the essayist,
will always put the breath of reality into his work by an infusion of
concreteness, of graphic personification. The poet's fancy, building out
of the abundant materials of sense-experience, is what gives color and
warmth to all his thoughts. Strong writers make incessant use of figures
of speech. Their thought must clothe itself with the whole panoply of
imagery and graphic representation in order to be efficient in the
warfare for truth.

What a lesson for the teacher! What models upon which to develop his
style of thinking! If the teaching profession and its work could be
weighed in the balance, the scale would fall on the side of the abstract
with a heavy thud. Not that object lessons will save us. They only
parody the truth. For the object lesson as a separate thing we have no
use at all. But to ground every idea and every study in realism, to pass
up steadily through real objects and experience to a perception of
truths which have wide application, to science--this is the true
philosophy of teaching.

The classic writers lead us even one grand step beyond realism. The
fancy builds better than the cold reason. It adorns and ennobles thought
till it becomes full-fledged for the flight toward the ideal.

As the poet, standing by the sea-shore, ponders the life that has been
in the now empty shell washed up from the deep, his fancy discovers in
the shell a resemblance to human life and destiny, and he cries:--

  "Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
  As the swift seasons roll!
  Leave thy low-vaulted past!
  Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
  Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
  Till thou at length art free,
  Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!"

Is it possible that one could fall under the sway of the poets and
artists, appropriate their images and fruitful style of thought, be
wrought upon by their fancies, and still remain dull and lifeless and
prosaic in the class-room? No wonder that true literature has been
called the literature of power, as distinguished from the literature of
knowledge (supplementary readers, pure science, information books,
etc.). The lives and works of our best writers contain an expansive
spiritual energy, which, working into the mind of a teacher, breaks the
shell of mechanism and formality. The artist gives bright tints and
colors to ideas which would otherwise be faded and bleached.

The study of the best literature adapted to children in each age is a
fruitful form of psychology and child study. The series of books
selected for the different grades is supposed to be adapted to the
children at each period. The books which suit the temper and taste of
children in primary grades are peculiar in quality, and fit those pupils
better than older ones. In intermediate classes the boyhood spirit,
which delights in myth, physical deeds of prowess, etc., shows itself,
and many of the stories, ballads, and longer poems breathe this spirit.
In grammar grades the expanding, maturing minds of children leap forward
to the appreciation of more complex and extended forms of literature
which deal with some of the great problems of life more seriously, as
"Snow-Bound," "Evangeline," "Roger de Coverley," "Merchant of Venice,"

Any poem or story which is suited to pupils of the common school may
generally be used in several grades. Hawthorne's "Wonder Book," for
instance, may be used anywhere from the third to the eighth grade by a
skilful teacher. But for us the important question is, to what age of
children is it best adapted? Where does its style of thought best fit
the temper of the children? The eighth grade may read it and get
pleasure and good from it, but it does not come up to the full measure
of their needs. Children of the third grade cannot master it with
sufficient ease, but in the latter part of the fourth or first part of
the fifth grade it seems to exactly suit the wants, that is, the
spiritual wants, of the children. It will vary, of course, in different
schools and classes. Now, it is a problem for our serious consideration
to determine what stories to use and just where each belongs, within
reasonable limits. Let us inquire where the best culture effect can be
realized from each book used, where it is calculated to work its best
and strongest influence. To accomplish this result it is necessary to
study equally the temper of the children and the quality of the books,
to seek the proper food for the growing mind at its different stages.
This is not chiefly a matter of simplicity or complexity of language.
Our readers are largely graded by the difficulty of language. But
literature should be distributed through the school grades according to
its power to arouse thought and interest. Language will have to be
regarded, but as secondary. Look first to the thought material which is
to engage children's minds, and then force the language into subservice
to that end. The final test to determine the place of a selection in the
school course must be the experiment of the class-room. We may exercise
our best judgment beforehand, and later find that a classic belongs one
or two grades higher or lower than we thought.

We really need some comprehensive principle upon which to make the
selection of materials as adapted to the nature (psychology) of
children. The theory of the culture epochs of race history as parallel
to child development offers at least a suggestion. A few of the great
periods of history seem to correspond fairly well to certain epochs of
child growth. The age of folk-lore and the fairy tale is often called
the childhood of the race; the predominance of the imagination and of
the childlike interpretation of things in nature reminds us strikingly
of the fancies of children. We find also that the literary remains of
this epoch in the world's history, the fairy tales, are the peculiar
delight of children from four to six. In like manner the heroic age and
its literary products seem to fascinate the children of nine to eleven
years. In connection with this theory it is observed that the greatest
poets of the world in different countries are those who have given
poetic form and expression to the typical ideas and characters of
certain epochs of history. So Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Scott. The
best literature is, much of it, the precipitate of the thought and life
of historical epochs in race development. Experiment has shown that much
of this literature is peculiarly adapted to exert strong culture
influence upon children. Emerson, in his "Essay on History," says: "What
is the foundation of that interest all men feel in Greek history,
letters, art, and poetry, in all its periods, from the Heroic or Homeric
age down to the domestic life of the Athenians and Spartans, four or
five centuries later? What but this, that every man passes personally
through a Grecian period?" And again: "The student interprets the age of
chivalry by his own age of chivalry, and the days of maritime adventure
and circumnavigation by quite parallel miniature experiences of his own.
To the sacred history of the world, he has the same key. When the voice
of a prophet out of the deeps of antiquity merely echoes to him a
sentiment of his infancy, a prayer of his youth, he then pierces to the
truth through all the confusion of tradition and the caricature of
institutions." The literary heritage of the chief culture epochs is
destined therefore to enter as a powerful agent in the education of
children in our schools, and the place of a piece of literature in
history suggests at least its place in child culture.

The study of these literary masterpieces, the choicest of the world,
while it offers a broad perspective of history, also enters deep into
the psychology of children and their periods of growth and change. What
a study for the teacher!

Suppose now that a wise selection of the best products for school use
had been made. The books for each grade would respond not only to the
ability but to the characteristic temper and mental status of children
at that age. The books would arouse the full compass of the children's
mental power, their emotional as well as intellectual capacities, their
sympathy, interest, and feeling. The teacher who is about to undertake
the training of these children may not know much about children of that
age. How can she best put herself into an attitude by which she can meet
and understand the children on their own ground? Not simply their
intellectual ability and standing, but, better still, their impulses and
sympathies, their motives and hearts? Most people, as they reach
maturity and advance in years, have a tendency to grow away from their
childhood. Their purposes have changed from those of childhood to those
of mature life. They are no longer interested in the things that
interest children. Such things seem trivial and even incomprehensible to

Now the person who is preparing to be a teacher should grow back into
his childhood. Without losing the dignity or purpose of mature life, he
should allow the memories and sympathies of childhood to revive. The
insight which comes from companionship and sympathy with children he
needs in order to guide them with tact and wisdom.

The literature which belongs to any age of childhood is perhaps the best
key to the spirit and disposition of that period. The fact that it is of
permanent worth makes it a fit instrument with which the teacher may
reawaken the dormant experiences and memories of that period in his own
life. The teacher who finds it impossible to reawaken his interest in
the literature that goes home to the hearts of children has _prima
facie_ evidence that he is not qualified to stimulate and guide their
mental movements. The human element in letters is the source of its deep
and lasting power; the human element in children is the centre of their
educative life, and he who disregards this and thinks only of
intellectual exercises is a poor machine. The literature which children
appreciate and love is the key to their soul life. It has power to
stimulate teacher and pupil alike, and is therefore a common ground
where they may both stand and look into each other's faces with

This is not so much the statement of a theory as a direct inference from
many observations. It has been observed repeatedly, in different schools
under many teachers, that the "Lady of the Lake," "Vision of Sir
Launfal," "Sleepy Hollow," or "Merchant of Venice" have had an
astonishing power to bring teacher and children into near and cherished
companionship. It is not possible to express the profound lessons of
life that children get from the poets. In the prelude to Whittier's
"Among the Hills," what a picture is drawn of the coarse, hard lot of
parents and children in an ungarnished home, "so pinched and bare and
comfortless," while the poem itself, a view of that home among the hills
which thrift and taste and love have made,--

  "Invites the eye to see and heart to feel
  The beauty and the joy within their reach;
  Home and home loves and the beatitudes
  Of nature free to all."

To study such poetry in its effect upon children is a monopoly of the
rich educational opportunity which falls naturally into the hands of
teachers. Psychology, as derived from text-books, is apt to be cold and
formal; that which springs from the contact of young minds with the
fountains of song lives and breathes. If a teacher desires to fit
herself for primary instruction, she can do nothing so well calculated
to bring herself _en rapport_ with little children as to read the
nursery rhymes, the fairy tales, fables, and early myths. They bring her
along a charming road into the realm of childlike fancies and
sympathies, which were almost faded from her memory. The same door is
opened through well-selected literature to the hearts of children in
intermediate and grammar grades.

The sense of humor is cultivated in literature better than elsewhere. In
fact, no other study contains much material of humorous quality. A quick
sense of it is deemed by many of the best judges an indispensable
quality in teachers. Not that a teacher needs to be a diverting
story-teller or entertainer, if only he has an indulgent patience and
kindly sympathy for those who enjoy telling stories. There is a certain
hearty, wholesome social spirit in the enjoyment of humor which diffuses
itself like sunlight through a school. It contains an element of
kindliness, humanity, and good fellowship which lubricates all the
machinery and takes away unnecessary stiffness and gravity in conduct.
Best of all it is a sort of mental balance-wheel for the teacher, which
enables him to see the ludicrous phases of his own behavior, should he
be inclined to run to foolish extremes in various directions. Much of
our best literature abounds in humorous elements. Lowell, Holmes,
Shakespeare, and Irving are spontaneously rich in this quality of ore,
and it is just as well perhaps to cultivate our appreciation in these
richer veins as in shallow and unproductive ones elsewhere.

Schlegel says of Shakespeare, his "comic talent is equally wonderful
with that he has shown in the pathetic and tragic; it stands at an equal
elevation and possesses equal extent and profundity.... Not only has he
delineated many kinds of folly, but even of sheer stupidity he has
contrived to give a most diverting and entertaining picture."

The inability to appreciate the ludicrous and farcical, and especially
of witty conceits, is felt to be a mark of dulness and heaviness, and in
dealing with children and young people a versatile perception of the
humorous is very helpful. Many of the pupils possess this quality of
humor in a marked degree, and the teacher should at least have
sufficient insight to appreciate this peculiar bent of mind and turn of

A brief retrospect will make plain the profitableness of classics to the
teacher. They show a deep perspective into the spirit and inner workings
of history. The social life and insight developed by the study of
literature give tact and judgment to understand and respect the
many-sided individualities found in every school. The teacher's own
moral and æsthetic and religious ideals are constantly lifted and
strengthened by the study of classics. Such reading is a recreation and
relief even in hours of weariness and solitude. It is an expansive
spiritual power rather than a burden. Literary artists are also a
standing illustration of the graphic, spirited manner of handling
subjects. Finally, this rich and varied realm of classic thought and
expression is the doorway by which we enter again into the moods and
impulses and fancies of childhood. We thus revive our own youth and fit
ourselves for a quick and appreciative perception of children's needs.
It is the best kind of child study.

       *       *       *       *       *

A few of the books which are suggestive, and illustrate the value of
literature for teachers, and in some cases even lay out lines of
profitable and stimulative reading, are as follows:--

    Newell Dwight Hillis. Great Books and Life Teachers. (Fleming H.
    Revell Co.)

    George Willis Cooke. Poets and Problems. (Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.)

    The Schoolmaster in Literature. (The American Book Co.)

    Representative Essays. (G. P. Putnam's Sons.)

    Hamilton Wright Mabie. Books and Culture. (Dodd, Mead, & Co.)

    James Baldwin. The Book Lover. (A. C. McClurg & Co.)

    The Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire. (The American Book Co.)

    Emerson's Essays.

    Schlegel's Dramatic Art and Literature. (Bohn's Libraries.)

    Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies, and Seven Lamps of Architecture.

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Book and Heart. (Harper & Brothers.)

    Carlyle's Heroes and Hero-Worship.

    Counsel upon the Reading of Books. Van Dyke. (Houghton, Mifflin,
    & Co.)

    Literary and General Essays. Charles Kingsley. (Macmillan & Co.)



The following list of books, arranged according to grades, is designed
to supply the children of the five grades, from the fourth to the eighth
inclusive, with excellent reading matter in the form of complete
masterpieces of American and English literature. It includes, besides
the books for regular reading lessons, a large list of collateral and
closely related works for the children and also for teachers.

The books of these lists contain a rich and varied fund of finest
culture material, first of all for the teacher, and, through her spirit
and enthusiasm, for the children.

Besides the general discussions of these books in the preceding
chapters, a few additional explanations are necessary to make plain the
grounds upon which this particular selection and arrangement of books is
based. The whole purpose of the preceding chapters is to throw light
upon this list, and to qualify the teacher for an intelligent and
efficient use of these books as school readers.

1. The books apportioned to each grade or year are divided into three
series. The first series is carefully selected to serve as regular
reading-books for that grade. Almost without exception they are complete
works, or collections of complete poems, stories, etc. Many of them are
very familiar and have been much used in the schools. The number of
books for each grade is large, so as to have room for choice and
adaptation to each class.

The second series consists of closely related collateral readings
derived from a much wider range of books in literature, history, and
science. Many of these books of the second list are not so strictly
masterpieces of literature, but of a secondary rank as prose renderings
of the great poems, myths, and stories of other languages, also American
and European history stories. These materials are well adapted for the
reference studies and home readings of children. They all deal with
interesting and worthy subjects of thought in a superior style. Many of
these books, however, are great and permanent works of literature. They
are materials, also, which the teacher should be familiar with. They
should be constantly referred to and discussed in connection with the
first series. It is quite probable that some teachers will prefer books
of the second series for regular reading in the place of some suggested
in the first series.

The third series consists of books for teachers, including great works
of literature, history, and science, which will enrich the teacher's
knowledge and contribute to a broader enthusiasm and culture. The
writings of some of the great essayists, as Ruskin, Carlyle, Emerson,
Kingsley, Motley, Lowell, Huxley, Macaulay, and others, are peculiarly
fit to broaden the teacher's horizon and ennoble his purpose. Some of
the best poems and novels suitable for advanced study are mentioned.
There are also books which deal in a comprehensive and critical, but
sympathetic, way with important literary topics, as the myths and great
epics, the age of chivalry, and the lives of the most eminent writers.
Some of the best works of biography and history are also suggested for
teachers, and a number of the best professional and pedagogical books
for teachers, dealing with literature, reading, and child study.

2. This list of books is of course tentative. There are other literary
works as good, perhaps, but not a few difficulties stand in the way of
the best selection. A few of the best materials are scattered in books
not available for school purposes. Some of the finest of our longer
classics have not been tested much in school use. There is, however, an
abundance of choice English works, complete, well printed and bound, in
cheap, schoolbook form. The chief difficulty, after all, is in selecting
and arranging the best of an abundant and varied collection of excellent
literature. This inspiring problem lies but partly solved at the
threshold of every teacher's work. It requires extensive knowledge of
literature and experience in its use in classes. A masterpiece may be
read in several grades, and teachers will differ in judging its true
place. Schools and classes differ also in their capacity and previous
preparation for classic readings, so that no course of reading will fit
all schools, or, perhaps, any two schools. Many principals will prefer
to use the books one or two grades lower, or higher, than here
indicated. Every teacher should use such a list according to his best
individual judgment as based upon the needs of his school. This list was
discussed and partly made out in conference with a number of experienced
superintendents, and much variety of opinion was expressed as to the
best grade for the use of a number of the selections.

3. The books chosen for each grade are designed to be a suitable
combination of prose and poetry, of short and long selections from
history, science, and letters. Variety in subject-matter and style is
required in each grade, although certain strong individual
characteristics are expected to appear in the literature of each year's
work. Many of the shorter poems fit in well with longer masterpieces in
prose and verse. Some of the epics, myths, and historical episodes are
told in both prose and verse. The children may well meet and study them
in both forms. If from four to six larger masterpieces could be read
each year, and these could bring out the style and quality of so many
authors, if a number of suitable shorter pieces could be read and
related to the former, the many-sided influence of literature would
prove each year effective. Literature is the broadest of all subjects,
both as a basis of culture and for the unification of the varied
studies. It touches every phase of experience and knowledge along its
higher levels, and overlooks the whole field of life from the standpoint
of the seer and poet. The classic readings should aim at the
completeness, variety, and elevation of thought which literature alone
can give. Every year's literature should open the gates to meadow and
woodland, to park and fruitful fields, into rich and shaded valleys, and
up to free and sunny hilltops and mountains.

4. The list of books for each year includes two or three books of
miscellaneous collections of classics in prose and verse. Many of the
selections are short and some fragmentary. Such are the three volumes of
"Open Sesame," the "Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics," "Children's
Treasury of English Song," and "Book of Golden Deeds." In each of the
books named is found a variety of material suited perhaps to two or
three grades. In most of the books just named it is not intended in our
plan that all the selections should be read through in succession. It
will be better for the teacher to select from those collections such
choice poems, stories, etc., as will enrich and supplement the longer
classics, and give that added variety so needful. Many of the finest
poems in our language are short, and should not be omitted from our
school course. They should be read and some of them memorized by the
children. It would be well if the teacher had in each grade one or two
sets of such books of choice miscellaneous materials from which to
select occasional reading. The regular readers used by the children
would consist of the longer masterpieces, which would be supplemented by
the shorter selections. In this way greater unity and variety might be
achieved within the limits of each grade.

5. Information books and supplementary readers in history, geography,
and natural science have been excluded, in the main, from our lists. The
test of literary excellence has been applied to most of the books
chosen. De Quincey's distinction between the literature of knowledge and
that of power is our line of demarkation. It seems to us probable that
the future will call for a still more stringent adherence to this
principle of selection. Information readers are good and necessary in
their place in geography, history, and natural science; but they are not
good enough to take the place of classics in reading lessons. The only
exceptions to the rule of classics are the prose renderings of the old
classics, as the "Story of the Odyssey," and the biographical stories
from history. Both these have so much of interest and stimulus for the
young that they seem to harmonize with our plan. But criticism may yet
expose their inadequacy.

It is our plan, in brief, to limit the reading work mainly to the choice
masterpieces of the best authors, and to render these studies as
fruitful as possible in spiritual power. If supplementary readings are
used at all, let them be those which will strengthen the influence of
the classics.

It has been our plan to collect in the Special Method Books devoted to
geography, history, and natural science, a full list of the
supplementary readers and information books in those subjects.

6. In our list, however, is included quite a number of classic
renderings of science and nature topics. Such are "Wake Robin," "Birds
and Bees," "A Hunting of the Deer," etc., "Sharp Eyes" etc., "Succession
of Forest Trees," "Up and Down the Brooks," "Water Babies," "The
Foot-path Way," "Madam How and Lady Why," "Wilderness Ways," "In Bird
Land," and many others.

These books, however, belong to the literature of power. They look at
nature through the eyes of poet and artist and enthusiast. They are not
cold, matter-of-fact delineations. They unfold the æsthetic and human
side of nature, the divinity of flower and tree. These books are the
communings of the soul with nature, and are closely related in spirit to
the poems of nature in Bryant, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and other poets.
There has been a chasm between them and our text-books in science which
needs bridging over. Now that science is beginning to be taught
objectively, experimentally, and inductively, there will be much less of
a hiatus at this stage, because there is so much that is powerfully
stimulating in nature study.

7. Some books are named twice in the lists, first as books of reference,
or in the teacher's lists, and in a later grade for the use of children
in regular reading. We have been especially careful in selecting
appropriate books in the first list for each grade adapted to the age of
the children. These books for regular reading must be used by every
child, so that they should be fitted to the average ability. The
reference books for collateral reading in the second series of each
grade may be more difficult in some cases, as they will be used, in
part, only by the stronger pupils.

There are certain groups of kindred books, like the Greek myths, that
are distributed through three or more grades. It is not expected that
any child will use all of these books, as several of them may deal with
the same story, like the "Iliad" or "Odyssey." It seemed best to include
all the important renderings of these stories, and leave the teacher to
choose among them for his class.

8. To give more specific aid to teachers, most of the books are briefly
described, and some notion of their special worth and fitness indicated.
It is hoped that these short descriptions will be of considerable help
to young teachers in making selections for their classes.

9. Many of the best and most commonly used books are published by
several companies. In such cases the names of the different publishers
are indicated in connection with each book.

10. By an examination of these lists the teacher of any grade will
discover that, in order to teach well, she must be acquainted with the
books used in one or two grades, both above and below her own. All the
chief groups of books in literature run through three or four grades,
and the teacher in any grade needs to get a comprehensive view of the
important groups of books used in her classes. In addition to this, the
books recommended for teachers give a still more definite and
comprehensive grasp of large classes of literary material. The books
recommended for teachers could be indefinitely extended, but it is hoped
that enough are mentioned to give definiteness to their wider studies,
and to serve as an introduction to some of the larger fields of
literature, science, and history.

11. There are certain peculiar difficulties connected with the reading
of longer classics which are much less frequently met with in the usual
school readers. These difficulties are of such a real and serious kind
that many teachers are apt to be discouraged before success is attained.
Complete classics like Webster's speeches, "Julius Cæsar," "Snow-Bound,"
"Marmion," and "Evangeline" have been regarded as too long and difficult
for school purposes. We have found, however, that the greater length,
if rightly utilized, only intensifies the effect of a masterpiece. The
chief objection is the greater language difficulty (hard and unusual
words, proper names, etc.) of the longer classics. This is a real
obstacle and must be fairly met. It is impossible to grade down the
language and thought of a great writer. It is necessary to bring the
class up to his level rather than bring him down to theirs. This
requires time and skill and perseverance on the teacher's part, and
labor and thought in the children. It may require a week or a month to
get a class well under way in "Lady of the Lake," "King of the Golden
River," or the "Sketch-Book." But when well done it is a conquest of no
mean importance. The language, style, and characteristics of the author
are strange and difficult. The scales must drop from children's eyes
before they will appreciate Ruskin or Tennyson or Emerson. The wings of
fancy, the æsthetic sense, do not unfold in a single day. But if these
initial difficulties can be overcome, we shall emerge soon into the
sunlight of interest and success. It takes a degree of faith in good
things and patience under difficulties to attain success in classic
readings. Even when the teacher thinks he is doing fairly well, the
parents sometimes say the work is too hard and the verbal difficulties
too great. Generally, however, parents are satisfied when children work
hard and are interested.

Again, children whose reading in the lower grades has been of the
information order lack the imaginative power that is essential to the
grasp and enjoyment of any masterpiece. The sleeping or dulled fancy
must be awakened. The power to image things, so natural to the poet,
must be aroused and exercised. The lack of training in vivid and poetic
thought in early years is sure to make itself felt in deficient and
languid thought and feeling in the higher grades. But we cannot afford
to give up the struggle. We may be forced to begin lower down in the
series of books, but anything less than a classic is not fit for the

12. The leading publishing houses are now competing vigorously in
bringing out the best complete classics in cheap, durable, well-printed
form for school use. In our list the names of the publishers are given.
Most of the companies can be addressed in Boston, Chicago, New York, or
San Francisco. Most of the books bound in boards or cloth range in price
from twenty-five to fifty cents. The pamphlet editions are from ten to
fifteen cents. The larger books of miscellaneous collections and some of
the science classics range from seventy-five cents to a dollar and a
quarter. A few of the books are priced as high as two dollars.

13. Before final publication, the following lists of books have been
submitted to the criticism of a number of able superintendents and to
the leading publishing houses. In consequence considerable changes and
additions have been made. The chief criticism offered was that the
books, in a number of cases, are too difficult for the grades indicated.
To meet this objection a few changes were made, while in several cases
books are described as suitable for two or three grades.

For the sake of quick and easy reference in finding any book, an
alphabetical list of the titles of all the books is given at the close,
and the page indicated where each book may be found in the descriptive



  Hawthorne's Wonder Book. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.

      Has been very extensively used in fourth and fifth grades,
      and even in sixth. A book of standard excellence.

  Kingsley's Greek Heroes. Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      Much used. Excellent. Covers much the same ground as the
      Wonder Book and is preferred by some to it.

  Stories from the Arabian Nights. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Excellent. It contains some of the most familiar stories,
      as Aladdin, in simple form.

  Whittier's Child Life in Poetry and Prose. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      An excellent selection of poems and stories of child life by
      Whittier. It has many simple poems and stories, as Barefoot
      Boy, John Gilpin, etc. Also for fifth grade.

  Fanciful Tales (Stockton). Scribner's Sons.

      Very pleasing and well-told stories for children. It has not
      been extensively used for reading as yet.

  Book of Tales. American Book Co.

      A good collection of old fairy tales, stories, and poems. It
      has been extensively used.

  Old Testament Stories in Scripture Language. Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and others.

      The patriarchal stories in familiar Bible language. It may
      be a little difficult for the first part of the year.

  Round the Year in Myth and Song (Holbrook). American Book Co.

      A fine collection of nature poems for occasional use throughout
      the year.

  Bird-World (Stickney-Hoffman). Ginn & Co.

      An interesting collection of bird stories and descriptions.
      Simple. A good book to encourage observation of birds.

  Nature in Verse (Lovejoy). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      An excellent collection of nature poems arranged by the

  Book of Legends (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Andersen's Fairy Tales. First and Second Series. Ginn & Co.

  Grimm's Household Tales. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Four Great Americans (Baldwin). Werner School Book Co.

  Hans Andersen Tales. The Macmillan Co.

  Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers (Burroughs). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Very entertaining, but somewhat difficult in language. Use
      toward the end of the year, and in fifth grade.

  Peabody's Old Greek Folk Stories. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Simple and well written. It supplements the Wonder Book.

  King Arthur and his Court (Greene). Ginn & Co.

      A recent book. Simple in style and pleasing to children.

  The Howells Story Book. Scribner's Sons.


  Stories of Our Country (Johonnot). American Book Co.

      Good American stories for children to read at home or school.

  Tales from the "Faerie Queene." The Macmillan Co.

      For reference and library.

  Bimbi (De la Ramée). Ginn & Co.

      The Nürnberg Stove and other good stories. Good for home
      reading and for school work.

  The Nürnberg Stove. Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Gods and Heroes (Francillon). Ginn & Co.

      Suitable to late fourth and fifth grades for collateral reading.
      Simple in style.

  Waste Not, Want Not (Edgeworth). Ginn & Co.; D. C. Heath, & Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Practical stories for children, illustrating foresight,
      economy, etc.

  A Ballad Book (Bates). Sibley & Ducker.

      A good collection of the older, simpler ballads. These ballads
      should be distributed through the year. Good for supplementary
      reading, also for drill in reading.

  The Story of Ulysses (Cook). Public School Publishing Co.

      An excellent rendering, sometimes used as a reader.

  Friends and Helpers (Eddy). Ginn & Co.

      Stories of animals and birds. Instructive.

  Hans Andersen Stories. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Tommy-Anne and the Three Hearts (Wright). The Macmillan Co.

  First Book of Birds (Miller). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Very simple and interesting descriptions and accounts of
      common birds. Will help to interest the children in nature.

  The Little Lame Prince. Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.

      A story for home reading.

  The Dog of Flanders. Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, &
  Co.; Educational Publishing Co.

      An excellent story for children to read at home or in school.

  Old Stories of the East (Baldwin). American Book Co.

      A pleasing treatment of the old Bible stories, not in Bible
      language. Well written.

  Fairy Tales in Prose and Verse (Rolfe). American Book Co.

      A choice collection of stories and poems.

  Heroes of Asgard. The Macmillan Co.

      A good simple treatment of the Norse myths. Suitable for
      supplementary and sight reading.

  Tales of Troy (De Garmo). Public School Publishing Co.

      A simple narrative of the Trojan war. Supplementary.

  Our Feathered Friends (Grinnell). D. C. Heath & Co.

      Instructive book on birds.

  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll). The Macmillan Co.;
  Educational Publishing Co.

      Very suitable for home and family reading. Younger children
      enjoy it much. Entertaining.

  Jackanapes, The Brownies (Mrs. Ewing). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Through the Looking Glass (Carroll). The Macmillan Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.

  The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Pyle). Scribner's Sons.

      An expensive book (about three dollars). Excellent stories
      to read to children. Full of humor and adventure. Finely
      illustrated. A good book for school and home library.

  Open Sesame, Vol. I and Vol. II. Ginn & Co.

      A fine collection of the best poems of nature, heroism,
      Christmas time, etc. Ballads and stories.  They are
      adapted to children in several grades, and should be used
      for reading, memory work, and for recitation.

  Stories of the Old World (Church). Ginn & Co.

      Good reading matter for fourth and fifth grades. Interesting
      for supplementary reading.

  Stories of American Life and Adventure (Eggleston). American
  Book Co.

  Black Beauty. Educational Publishing Co.; University Pub. Co.

  Children's Treasury of English Song. The Macmillan Co.

      A collection of poems for occasional use.

  Little Lord Fauntleroy. Scribner's Sons.

      A famous story for home reading. A book for libraries.

  Heroes of the Middle West (Catherwood). Ginn & Co.

      Stories for later fourth and fifth grades. A good book for
      supplementary reading. Also for sixth grade.

  Old Norse Stories (Bradish). American Book Co.

      Stories for reference reading and sight reading.

  Stories from Plato (Burt). Ginn & Co.

      Simple myths and stories for home reading.

  The Eugene Field Book. Scribner's Sons.

      Pleasing and entertaining for younger children. Prose and
      verse, humorous and pathetic.

  Stories from Old Germany (Pratt). Educational Publishing Co.

      A simple, interesting rendering of the story of Siegfried.

  Secrets of the Woods. Ginn & Co.

  Norse Stories (Mabie). Dodd, Mead, & Co.

      An excellent rendering of the Norse stories. Simple.

  Fifty Famous Stories Retold (Baldwin). American Book Co.

      Simple and well told.

  Pioneers of the Revolution. Public School Publishing Co.

      A simple narrative of pioneer life and conflict in the
      South-west during the Revolution.


  Story of the Iliad (Church). The Macmillan Co.

      A reference book for outside reading.

  Emerson's Essays. Second Series. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Essays on the poet, manners, character, etc. Inspiring
      reading for the teacher.

  Myths of the Northern Lands (Guerber). American Book Co.

  Readings in Folklore (Skinner). American Book Co.

      Good general introduction to the folklore of modern European

  History and Literature (Rice). A. Flanagan.

      A discussion of books and materials for teachers.

  Being a Boy (Warner). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  David Copperfield (Charles Dickens).

  Talks to Teachers (James).

  Sesame and Lilies (Ruskin). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan

  Tales of a Traveler (Irving). American Book Co.; Maynard, Merrill,
  & Co.

  Poetry for Children (Eliot). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A good collection for miscellaneous uses in the school.

  California and Oregon Trail (Parkman). Hurst & Co.; Little, Brown, &

      Interesting descriptions of Indian and Western life.

  Story of the Odyssey (Church). The Macmillan Co.

      Good for reference and general reading.

  Literature in Schools (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A series of three excellent papers on the use and value of
      literature in schools. Especially valuable for teachers.

  Children's Stories of American Literature (Wright). Scribner's.

      Short biographies of American writers in two small volumes.

  The Age of Fable (Bulfinch). Lee & Shepard.

      One of the best general treatises on mythology.

  National Epics (Rabb). A. C. McClurg.

      A good introduction and extracts from the great epic poems
      of all nations.

  In Bird Land (Keyser). A. C. McClurg.

      Delightful reading and suggestive to teachers.

  The Ways of Wood Folk (Long). Ginn & Co.

      Very pleasing stories of animal life for children and teachers.

  Nature Pictures by American Poets (Marble). The Macmillan Co.

  La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (Parkman). Little, Brown,
  & Co.

      Very interesting account of the exploration of the Great
      Lakes and the Mississippi River.

  The Discovery of America, two volumes (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, &

      Valuable account of Columbus and other explorers.

  The Beginnings of New England (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.


  The Story-Teller's Art (Dye). Ginn & Co.

      A book designed for high school teachers, but good also
      for teachers in the grades.

  The Winning of the West (Roosevelt). Putnam.

  Leonard and Gertrude (Pestalozzi). D. C. Heath & Co.

  Jean Mitchell's School. Public School Publishing Co.

  The Pilot (Cooper). American Book Co.; University Pub. Co.



  Hiawatha. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.; University Pub. Co.

      Well suited for reading. Used in several grades.

  Lays of Ancient Rome (Macaulay). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Educational Publishing Co.;
  American Book Co.

      The four ballad poems. Good school reading for children.
      Names somewhat hard at first. Very stimulating and heroic.
      Used also in sixth grade.

  King of the Golden River (Ruskin). Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      Much used. Excellent story and reading.

  Tanglewood Tales (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Companion book to the Wonder Book. Excellent matter for reading.

  Water Babies (Kingsley). Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      Interesting story. Good also for home reading. Better,
      perhaps, for sixth grade.

  Ulysses among the Phæacians (Bryant). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Simple and easy. Poetic in its rendering. Better for sixth
      grade in some classes.

  Tales from English History (prose and verse). American Book Company.

      Stories and ballads of the leading periods of English history
      from the best authors. Illustrated.

  Gulliver's Travels. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Ginn & Co.; The
  Macmillan Co.; Educational Publishing Co.

      Somewhat difficult in spots. Very interesting to boys and
      girls. For some classes use in sixth grade.

  Adventures of Ulysses (Lamb). Ginn & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.

      Well told, giving complete outline of the whole story.

  Heroic Ballads. Ginn & Co.

      Scotch and English and many later and American ballads.

  The Pied Piper and Other Poems (Browning). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Also other poems and ballads of Browning.

  Tales from Scottish History (Rolfe). American Book Co.

  Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Pyle). Scribner's Sons. Shorter
  School Edition.

      Humorous and entertaining.

  Little Daffydowndilly and Biographical Stories (Hawthorne). Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co. The latter for sixth grade.

  Stories of American Life and Adventure (Eggleston). American Book Co.

  The Ways of Wood Folk (Long). Ginn & Co.

      An excellent nature book for children, entertaining,
      instructive, and well written.

  Gulliver's Voyage to Lilliput (Swift). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

  Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers (Burroughs). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  The Children's Hour (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.


  Arabian Nights (Hale). Ginn & Co.

      Many of the best stories of the collection, including a number
      of the less familiar ones. Also for regular reading.

  Ten Boys on the Road from Long Ago. Ginn & Co.

      A book interesting and much used. Good for reading in fourth,
      fifth, and sixth grades. Also for sight reading.

  Robinson Crusoe. Ginn & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; American Book Co.;
  University Publishing Co.

      Much reduced and simplified from the original. A complete
      and more difficult edition is published by Houghton, Mifflin,
      & Co.

  The Odyssey of Homer (Palmer). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A complete prose translation of the entire Odyssey. Probably
      the best. Good for fifth and sixth grades.

  Bryant's Odyssey. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A simple, poetic rendering of the whole Odyssey. A good
      teacher's book. Use parts in class.

  Bryant's Iliad. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Complete poetic translation. One of the best.

  Heroes of the Middle West (Catherwood). Ginn & Co.

      Good stories of the early French explorers of the Great
      Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. Somewhat difficult.

  Pope's Iliad. The Macmillan Co.; Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.;
  Silver, Burdett, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.

      A famous rendering of the old Greek story. Still better
      for sixth grade.

  A Story of the Golden Age (Baldwin). Scribner's Sons.

  Secrets of the Woods (Long). Ginn & Co.

  Old Greek Story (Baldwin). American Book Co.

  Arabian Nights (Clarke). American Book Co.

  Colonial Children (Hart). The Macmillan Co.

      Simple and well-chosen source material. Excellent.

  Krag and Johnny Bear (Seton). Scribner's Sons.

  Poems of American Patriotism (Matthews). Scribner's Sons.

  Ballads and Lyrics. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Stories from Herodotus. Maynard, Merrill & Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      Simple and interesting stories. Good also for sixth grade.

  Jason's Quest. Sibley & Ducker.

      The story of Jason told in full. Interesting and well written.

  Book of Golden Deeds. The Macmillan Co.

      A fine collection of historical and famous stories. For sixth
      grade also.

  Historical Tales, American (Morris). J. B. Lippincott.

      One of the best collections of American stories.

  Greek Gods, Heroes, and Men. Scott, Foresman, & Co.

      A collection of Greek stories, both mythical and historical.

  The Story of the English (Guerber). American Book Co.

      A complete series of English history stories arranged
      chronologically, good for fifth and sixth grades.

  Tales of Chivalry (Rolfe). American Book Co.

      Good stories from Scott, mostly from Ivanhoe. Also the
      early life of Scott. Good for fifth and sixth grades.

  Boy's King Arthur (Lanier). Scribner's Sons.

      A very interesting story for boys and girls. A good library
      book ($2.00).

  The Story of Siegfried (Baldwin). Scribner's Sons.

      A full and attractive story of Siegfried's adventures. A good
      library book ($2.00).

  Pioneer History Stories (McMurry). Three volumes. The Macmillan Co.
  Also for sixth year.

      Early pioneer stories of the Eastern states, of the Mississippi
      Valley, and of the Rocky Mountains.

  Open Sesame. Part II. Ginn & Co.

      A good collection of poems arranged in important classes.

  The Story of the Greeks (Guerber). American Book Co.

      Leading stories of Greek myth and history. For fifth and
      sixth grades.

  The Story of Troy. American Book Co.

      A short narrative of the Trojan War.

  Story of the Odyssey (Church). The Macmillan Co.

      Library book for general reading. Simple.

  The Story of Roland (Baldwin). Scribner's Sons.

      Large book for library. Good.

  The Hoosier School Boy (Eggleston). Scribner's Sons.

  American Explorers (Higginson). Lee & Shepard.

      Excellent descriptions of early explorations. Good source
      material for pupils and teachers. Also for sixth grade.

  The Children's Life of Abraham Lincoln (Putnam). A. C. McClurg. Also
  for sixth and seventh grades.

  Four American Naval Heroes (Beebe). Werner School Book Company. Sixth
  grade also.

      A simple narrative of great naval conflicts.

  Lobo, Rag, and Vixen (Seton). Scribner's Sons.


  Beginnings of New England and Discovery of America, two
  volumes (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Good library books for teacher.

  Sesame and Lilies (Ruskin). The Macmillan Co.

      A very stimulating and suggestive book for teachers.

  The Golden Age (Kenneth and Grahame). John Lane.

  Moral Instruction of Children (Adler). D. Appleton & Co.

  Childhood in Literature and Art (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      An instructive book for teachers.

  Readings in Folk Lore (Skinner). American Book Co.

      Valuable source book.

  Wilderness Ways (Long). Ginn & Co.

      Entertaining to both teachers and pupils.

  The Story of Our Continent (Shaler). Ginn & Co.

      An interesting geological history of North America.

  Historical Tales, English (Morris). J. B. Lippincott.

      Excellent materials for reference work.

  Westward Ho! (Kingsley). The Macmillan Co.; University Publishing Co.

      A good story of the time of Elizabeth, Drake, and Raleigh.

  Samuel de Champlain (Sedgwick). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A short and interesting biography. Other books of the
      same Riverside Biographical Series are, William Penn,
      Lewis and Clark, George Rogers Clark, and Paul Jones.

  History and Literature (Rice). Flanagan.

      A brief pedagogical treatment of the whole subject of
      literature and history for the elementary school.

  Ivanhoe (Scott). Ginn & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.; American Book Co.; The Macmillan Co.

  The Deerslayer (Cooper). The Macmillan Co.

  House of Seven Gables (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Drake and his Yeomen (Barnes). The Macmillan Co.

  Hard Times (Charles Dickens).

      Mechanical methods in education described.

  Wake Robin (Burroughs). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A book of pleasing nature observation and study.

  Pioneers of France in the New World, and La Salle and the Discovery
  of the Great West (Parkman). Little, Brown, & Co.

      Excellent and interesting historical material for the teacher.

  The Men Who Made the Nation (Sparks). The Macmillan Co.

      Interesting biographical material.

  The Age of Chivalry (Bulfinch). Lee & Shepard.

      An important treatise on this subject. Library book.

  The Foot-path Way (Torrey). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Attractive and inspiring nature study.

  Birddom (Keyser). Lothrop & Co.

      Excellent style and treatment of bird life.

  News from the Birds (Keyser). D. Appleton & Co.

      Very pleasing studies and stimulating to teachers.

  Greek Life and Story (Church). G. P. Putnam's Sons.

      A good series of pictures from the chief episodes of Greek

  Counsel upon the Reading of Books (Van Dyke). Houghton, Mifflin, &
  Co. Excellent.

  The Odyssey (Butcher and Lang). The Macmillan Co.



  The Sketch-Book (Irving). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.; Macmillan Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Educational
  Pub. Co.; University Pub. Co.

      Rip Van Winkle and other American essays. One of the best
      books for sixth grade. Used also in fifth and seventh grades.

  The Courtship of Miles Standish (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Excellent in many ways for sixth-grade children. A dramatized
      edition is also published. Used sometimes in seventh grade.

  The Christmas Carol (Dickens). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.; Educational Publishing Co.

      Excellent as literature and for variety of style in class work.
      Used also in seventh grade.

  Hunting of the Deer (Warner). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Including also How I Killed a Bear, and other admirable stories,
      in which the humor and sentiment are fine. Used also in seventh

  Snow-Bound and Songs of Labor (Whittier). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      One of the best American poems for children. Used also
      in seventh and eighth grades.

  Coming of Arthur and Passing of Arthur. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      In the fine, poetic style of Tennyson, but simple. Suited
      also for seventh grade.

  The Gentle Boy and Other Tales (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A pathetic story of the Quaker persecutions in New England.

  Tales of the White Hills and Sketches (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.

      The Great Stone Face in this series is one of the choicest
      stories for children in English.

  Plutarch's Alexander the Great. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A good biography for children and serves well as an introduction
      to Plutarch.

  Grandfather's Chair (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      The best stories we have of early and colonial New England
      history. Good also for seventh grade.

  Children's Hour, Paul Revere, and other papers (Longfellow). Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.

      This contains also the Birds of Killingworth, and other
      of Longfellow's best short poems.

  Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes, and other papers (Burroughs). Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co. Also for seventh grade.

      These are among the best of Burroughs's books for children.
      Classic in style and choice in matter.

  Hawthorne's Biographical Stories. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Seven American Classics (Swinton). American Book Co.

      A good collection of American classics suited to this grade.

  Three Outdoor Papers (Higginson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Interesting studies of nature in choice style.

  Giles Corey (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A drama of the Salem witchcraft, with directions for its
      representation on the stage.

  The Building of the Ship, The Masque of Pandora, and other poems
  (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Excellent. The Masque of Pandora could be rendered in
      dramatic form by children. Also for seventh grade.

  Mabel Martin and other poems (Whittier). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A choice collection of poems from Whittier. A good picture
      of New England life. Used also in seventh and eighth grades.

  Baby Bell, The Little Violinist, and other prose and verse
  (Aldrich). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Very choice poems and stories.

  Open Sesame, Vol. II, and Vol. III. Ginn & Co.

      Poems and ballads. A collection well arranged for various
      school use, for reading, recitation, and memorizing.


  Ten Great Events in History (Johonnot). D. Appleton & Co.

      Good collateral reading in this grade.

  Lanier's Froissart. Scribner's Sons.

      A fine story for library ($2.00).

  Child's History of England (Dickens). Hurst & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.; American Book Co.

      A book much used. Should be in a school library.

  Tales from Shakespeare (Lamb). American Book Co.; Macmillan Co.;
  Educational Publishing Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.

      Designed as an introduction to the plays of Shakespeare.
      Language and style superior. Used also in seventh grade.

  Pilgrim's Progress (Bunyan). Macmillan Co.; Ginn & Co.; Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.; University Publishing Co.

      The famous old story which all children should read. A
      book for the library and the home.

  Story of Cæsar (Clarke). American Book Co.

  Heroes and Patriots of the Revolution (Hart). The Macmillan Co.

  Swiss Family Robinson. Ginn & Co.; Educational Publishing Co.

  A library book for children. University Publishing Co.

  Stories from Old English Poetry (Richardson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      An excellent series of stories from Chaucer and others.

  Historical Tales, English (Morris). J. B. Lippincott.

      A good collection of English history stories.

  Selections from Irving. Sibley & Ducker.

      A variety of interesting selections from Irving's works.

  The Conquest of Mexico (Prescott). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      The story of Cortes and his adventures told by a master.

  William Tell (McMurry). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      The drama of Schiller's Wilhelm Tell, translated into simple
      English. Adapted for representation.

  Source Book of American History (Hart). Macmillan Co.

      The parts bearing on the colonial history. Original sources,
      letters, etc.

  Story of a Bad Boy (Aldrich). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A good narrative of boy life, humorous and entertaining.

  Lay of the Last Minstrel (Scott). The Macmillan Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.; Ginn & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      One of the best descriptions of the old minstrelsy. Suitable
      for sixth and seventh grades.

  Choice English Lyrics (Baldwin). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      A great variety of choice poems, ballads, lyrics, and

  Poetry of the Seasons (Lovejoy). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      A choice collection of nature poems.

  Wilderness Ways (Long). Ginn & Co.

      An interesting study of wild animals, birds, etc.

  Famous Allegories (Baldwin). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      A good selection for reference reading and for teachers.

  Rab and His Friends (Brown). Educational Publishing Co.; D. C. Heath
  & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Interesting stories of dogs for children.

  Story of Oliver Twist (Dickens). D. Appleton & Co.

      Suitable for introducing children to Dickens.

  Undine (Fouque). Ginn & Co.

  Nine Worlds (Litchfield). Ginn & Co.

  Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (Mary Mapes Dodge). Century Co.

  Don Quixote (De la Mancha). Scribner's Sons; Ginn & Co.

  Tales of a Traveller (Irving). American Book Co.; Maynard, Merrill,
  & Co.

      Various interesting stories of adventure.

  Pilgrims and Puritans (Moore). Ginn & Co.

      One of the best books on the early history of Plymouth and
      Boston. Very simple and well told.

  Stories from Waverley (Gassiot). The Macmillan Co.

      For reference reading. Stories from Scott.

  Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics (Palgrave). The Macmillan Co.

      A collection of the best songs and lyrical poems.

  The Rose and the Ring (Thackeray). D. C. Heath & Co.

  Knickerbocker Stories. University Publishing Co.

  Boys of '76 (Coffin). Harper Brothers.

      A realistic account of Revolutionary scenes.

  Stories of Bird Life (Pearson). B. F. Johnson Publishing Co.

      Simple descriptions by a close observer of birds.

  Our Country in Prose and Verse. American Book Co.

      Excellent collection for children's use.

  Stories of Animal Life (Holden). American Book Co.

  Stories from English History (Church). The Macmillan Co.

      In two volumes. The second part is especially suited to
      sixth grade. Parts also of Part One.

  Children's Stories of American Literature (Wright). 1660-1860.
  Scribner's Sons.

      Short biographies of the chief American writers.

  Golden Arrow (Hall). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.


  Peter the Great (Motley). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      A very interesting essay for teachers and for older pupils.

  Frederick the Great (Macaulay). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      For teachers only. Interesting in style and content.

  Life Histories of American Insects (Weed). The Macmillan Co.

      An interesting scientific treatment.

  Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.; D. C.
  Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; The
  University Publishing Co.

  The Talisman (Scott). American Book Co.; Ginn & Co.

  Introduction to Literature (Lewis). The Macmillan Co.

      Good selections.

  Source Book of English History (Kendall). The Macmillan Co.

      Good selections for sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.

  Twice Told Tales (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, two volumes (Fiske). Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.

  The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, two volumes (Fiske).
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      These four volumes are excellent for the treatment of colonial

  An Introduction to Ruskin. Sibley & Ducker.

      Extracts from Ruskin's principal writings.

  Essay on Milton (Macaulay). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; American Book
  Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      A good example of Macaulay's style.

  History of England (Macaulay). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      A brief history of England from the earliest times to 1660.

  The Iliad (Bryant). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Books and Libraries (Lowell). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A valuable and interesting essay on libraries and books.
      Also other essays.

  The Red Cross Story Book (Lang). Longmans & Co.

  Montcalm and Wolfe (Parkman). Little, Brown, & Co.

  Washington Irving (Warner). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Of the American Men of Letters Series.

  Conspiracy of Pontiac (Parkman). Little, Brown, & Co.

  The Fortune of the Republic (Emerson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Nature Pictures by American Poets (Marble). The Macmillan Co.

      A choice collection of nature poems.

  Poetic Interpretation of Nature (Shairp). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      An interesting treatise on the sources of poetry in nature.

  Westward Ho! (Kingsley). The Macmillan Co.; The University Publishing

      A story of the time of Elizabeth.

  The Schoolmaster in Literature. American Book Co.

  Also its companion book, The Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire.
  American Book Co.

  Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne).

  Last of the Mohicans (Cooper). D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.; Macmillan Co.; University Pub. Co.

  Henry Esmond (Thackeray). Houghton, Mifflin; Macmillan.

  Nicholas Nickleby (Charles Dickens).



  Evangeline (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.;
  The University Publishing Co.

      This has been much used in seventh and eighth grades.

  Sella, Thanatopsis, and Other Poems (Bryant). Houghton, Mifflin, &
  Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      Some of Bryant's best poetic productions. Or eighth grade.

  Sohrab and Rustum (Arnold). American Book Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, &
  Co.; Maynard & Merrill; Werner School Book Co.; Educational Publishing

      Style simple but highly poetic. Used also in eighth grade.

  Cricket on the Hearth (Dickens). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.

  Enoch Arden and the Lotus Eaters (Tennyson). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; University Publishing Co.

      Used in seventh and eighth grades and high schools.

  Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare). American Book Co.; Ginn & Co.; The
  Macmillan Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard &
  Merrill; Educational Publishing Co.; University Publishing Co.

      The best of Shakespeare's for this grade. Parts of it are
      often dramatized and presented. Much liked by the children.

  Tales of a Grandfather (Scott). Ginn & Co.; Educational Publishing
  Co.; University Publishing Co.

      Stories of Wallace, Bruce, Douglas, and other Scotch heroes.
      Should be read only in parts in class. Library book.

  Poems of Emerson. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Historical and nature poems, with a good introduction. A
      small but important collection of poems for older children.

  The Cotter's Saturday Night (Burns). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      Contains also Tam O'Shanter and other poems of Burns's best.

  Bunker Hill, Adams, and Jefferson (Webster). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  American Book Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      Historical, patriotic, and simple in style. The best of Webster's
      speeches for seventh and eighth grades.

  Poor Richard's Almanac (Franklin). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      This contains also interesting papers and letters by Franklin.
      The proverbs of Franklin are well deserving the study of

  Scudder's Life of Washington. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Best life of Washington for grammar grades.

  Source Book of American History (Hart). The Macmillan Co.

      Excellent reading selections for sixth, seventh, and eighth

  Grandmother's Story and Other Poems (Holmes). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Some of Holmes's best patriotic and humorous poems.

  The Plant World (Vincent). D. Appleton & Co.

      A superior collection of extracts from great scientific writers.
      One of the best science readers for upper grades.

  Poetry of the Seasons (Lovejoy). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      Good collection for reading and various uses.

  William Tell (McMurry). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      Suitable for seventh-grade reading. A drama.

  Golden Treasury of Best Songs and Lyrical Poems (Palgrave). The
  Macmillan Co.


  Rules of Conduct (Washington). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Containing also his letters, farewell address, and other
      important papers.

  Shakespeare's Tragedies (Lamb). American Book Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      Companion book to the Comedies.

  Natural History of Selborne (White). Ginn & Co.

      A famous old book, interesting both in style and content.
      One of the first books of real nature study.

  Letters (Chesterfield). Ginn & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co. The
  Macmillan Co.

      Entertaining and unique. Valuable for reading extracts to
      the school.

  Plutarch's Lives. Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.

      A book that all grammar school children should be encouraged
      to read.

  The Two Great Retreats (Grote-Segur). Ginn & Co.

      Retreat of the ten thousand Greeks, and Napoleon's retreat
      from Russia.

  The Alhambra (Irving). Ginn & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co. The
  Macmillan Co.

      Most attractive descriptions and legends connected with
      the Alhambra.

  Peter Schlemihl (Chamisso). Ginn & Co.

  Picciola (Saintine). Ginn & Co.

  Hatim Tai (from the Persian). Ginn & Co.

  Life of Nelson (Southey). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.; The Macmillan

  Camps and Firesides of the Revolution (Hart). The Macmillan Co.

      Interesting source material.

  The Crofton Boys (Martineau). D. C. Heath & Co.

  Orations on Washington and Landing of the Pilgrims (Webster). American
  Book Co.

      A few children may be encouraged to read these great speeches,
      among the best in our history. Somewhat difficult.

  Silas Marner (Eliot). The Macmillan Co.; Sibley & Ducker; American
  Book Co.; Ginn & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  Educational Publishing Co.

      A good introduction for children to George Eliot's writings.
      Used in eighth grade and high school.

  Vicar of Wakefield (Goldsmith). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.; D. C.
  Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.; Univ. Pub. Co.

      One of the great books, permeated with Goldsmith's fine
      style and humor.

  Two Years Before the Mast (Dana). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A book of real power for boys and girls.

  A Bunch of Herbs (Burroughs). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Good nature study for pupils and teachers. Also for regular

  Samuel Adams (Morse). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      One of the best of American biographies. One of the best
      descriptions of scenes in Boston just preceding the

  Tom Brown's School Days (Hughes). The Macmillan Co.; Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.; Ginn & Co.; Educational Publishing Co.

      A story for boys. Vigorous and true to life.

  Last of the Mohicans (Cooper). The Macmillan Co.; Maynard, Merrill,
  & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; University
  Publishing Co.

      A good book with which to introduce young people to
      Cooper's famous stories.

  Franklin's Autobiography. Ginn & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; American Book Co.; The Macmillan Co.; The
  Educational Publishing Co.

      A book that all young people should read. Valuable in
      many ways.

  Uncle Tom's Cabin (Stowe). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A library book for home reading.

  From Colony to Commonwealth (Moore). Ginn & Co.

      Simple account of the early events of the Revolution about

  Stories from the Classic Literature of Many Nations (Palmer).
  The Macmillan Co.

  The Gold Bug and Other Tales (Poe). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  American War Ballads and Lyrics (Eggleston). G. P. Putnam's Sons.

  The Siege of Leyden (Motley). D. C. Heath & Co.

  Twelve Naval Captains. Scribner's Sons.

      Short biographies of naval heroes.

  Open Sesame, Volume III. Ginn & Co.

      A collection for various uses, prose and verse. Patriotism,
      sentiment, humor, and nature.

  Birddom (Keyser). D. Lothrop & Co.

      Good for regular reading. Written in the fine style of a
      true lover of nature.

  Town Geology (Kingsley). The Macmillan Co.

      An interesting book for those predisposed to science.

  Children's Stories of American Literature (1860-1896) (Wright).
  Scribner's Sons.

      Short biographies of recent American writers.

  Prince and Pauper (Clemens). Harper & Bros.


  Education and the Larger Life (Henderson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A book of great value to teachers for thoughtful study.

  Critical Period of American History (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A very superior and interesting book of the period just after
      the Revolution.

  The Beginnings of New England (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Valuable for sixth and seventh grade teachers.

  Birds in the Bush (Torrey). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Entertaining nature study by a master.

  Nestlings in Forest and Marsh (Wheelock).  A. C. McClurg.

      A suggestive book for teachers and older pupils.

  Madam How and Lady Why (Kingsley). The Macmillan Co.

      Interesting style and content.

  Brave Little Holland (Griffis). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A historical study of the Dutch in Holland and in this

  Familiar Flowers of Field and Garden (Matthews). D. Appleton & Co.

      An easy study of common plants and flowers according to
      the seasons.

  Guy Mannering (Scott). Ginn & Co.

  Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (Holmes). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Tale of Two Cities (Dickens). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.

  Life of Pestalozzi (de Guimps). D. Appleton & Co.

  First Bunker Hill Oration (Webster). D. C Heath & Co.

  Mill on the Floss (George Eliot).

  Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker (Mitchell). Century Co.

  The Fortune of the Republic (Emerson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Very stimulating to teachers.

  Masterpieces of American Literature (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, &

      One of the best collections of classical masterpieces.

  Life of Samuel Johnson (Macaulay). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.

      Very fine, in Macaulay's superior style.

  Modern Painters (Ruskin). Various publishers.

      For teachers, a good study in Ruskin.

  Essay on Burns (Carlyle). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Educational Publishing

      An interesting subject and an able treatment.

  Readings from the Spectator. Educational Publishing Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.

      Roger de Coverley and other selected parts of essays from

  Six Centuries of English Poetry (Baldwin). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

      Valuable for reference and occasional study.

  Fiske's Washington and His Country (Irving). Ginn & Co.

      Good life of Washington and history of the Revolution.

  The War of Independence (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Poetic Interpretation of Nature (Shairp). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Mere Literature (Woodrow Wilson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      An interesting series of essays for teachers.

  The Life of Alexander Hamilton (Lodge). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  The Study and Teaching of English (Chubb). The Macmillan Co.

  Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America. D. C. Heath & Co.;
  American Book Co.; The Macmillan Co.



  Vision of Sir Launfal (Lowell). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The
  Macmillan Co.

      One of the best poems in English for school use.

  Julius Cæsar (Shakespeare). American Book Co.; The Macmillan Co.;
  Silver, Burdett, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.; University
  Publishing Co.

      Well suited for eighth grade study and presentation. Used
      also in high schools.

  Tales of a Wayside Inn (Longfellow). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Bunker Hill, Adams, and Jefferson (Webster). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Roger de Coverley (Addison). The Macmillan Co.; American Book Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.; Silver,
  Burdett, & Co.; Sibley & Ducker; D. C. Heath & Co.; Maynard, Merrill,
  & Co.

      An excellent study for children in eighth grade. Also used
      in high schools.

  In Bird Land (Keyser). A. C. McClurg & Co.

      A book adapted to awaken the children to a sympathetic
      observation of birds.

  Lady of the Lake (Scott). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; American Book Co.;
  Ginn & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; D. C. Heath
  & Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.; University Publishing Co.

      An attractive study. Somewhat difficult.

  Marmion (Scott). Ginn & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; The Macmillan
  Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.;
  American Book Co.

      A great historical picture, full of interest.

  The Great Debate (Hayne-Webster). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.

      A fine study of forensic debate. Incidentally a deeper
      appreciation of history. Somewhat difficult for eighth

  A Bunch of Herbs (Burroughs). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A very suggestive study of common plants, trees, weather, etc.

  Burke on Conciliation. Sibley & Ducker; Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.;
  Silver, Burdett, & Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; American Book Co.;
  D. C. Heath & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co. Used also in high school.

      A great study both as literature and as history. One of the
      best studies in American history before the Revolution.

  The Gettysburg Speech (Lincoln). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      The inaugurals, an essay by Lowell on Lincoln and other

  The Deserted Village, and The Traveller (Goldsmith). The Macmillan
  Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      The best of Goldsmith's poems. Also shorter poems.

  Franklin's Autobiography. The Macmillan Co.; Ginn & Co.; Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; American Book Co.; The
  Educational Publishing Co.

      Partly for class use and partly for reference reading.

  Plutarch's Lives. Ginn & Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.; The
  Macmillan Co.

      A few for class reading. Others for reference.

  Translation of Homer's Odyssey (Palmer). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Abraham Lincoln (Schurz). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Two Great Retreats (Grote-Segur). Ginn & Co.

      Good sight reading, and for reference.

  Peter the Great (Motley). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      A very interesting essay in superior style.

  The Succession of Forest Trees, Wild Apples, and Sounds (Thoreau).
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A very attractive nature study.


  Ruskin's Selections. Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      Longer selections from Ruskin. Excellent also for regular

  My Hunt after the Captain, etc. (Holmes). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A very entertaining description of scenes during war times.

  Don Quixote (Cervantes). Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Scribner's

      A book that children should be encouraged to read. Its satire
      and humor they should learn to appreciate.

  Ivanhoe (Scott). The Macmillan Co.; Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.;
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.

      The best introduction to Scott's novels, in connection with
      school studies.

  The Abbot (Scott). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.

      One of Scott's best stories.

  Yesterdays with Authors (James T. Fields). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Rob Roy, and Quentin Durward (Scott). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.

      Good library books.

  The House of Seven Gables (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A New England story in Hawthorne's style. A good home
      study for children and teachers.

  The Boy's Browning. Dana, Estes, & Co.

      A good collection of the simpler poems adapted to younger

  Tale of Two Cities (Dickens). Ginn & Co.; American Book Co.

  Jean Valjean (from Les Miserables). Ginn & Co.; Educational
  Publishing Co.

  The Talisman (Scott). American Book Co.; Ginn & Co.

  Treasure Island (Stevenson). Scribner's Sons.

  Life of Washington (Statesmen Series). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Life of Nelson (Southey). The Macmillan Co.; Ginn & Co.; American Book

  The Foot-path Way (Torrey). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      One of the best books for cultivating an appreciation for

  In Bird Land (Keyser). A. C. McClurg & Co.

      A very interesting bird study.

  The Old Manse, and A Few Mosses (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A pleasing account of the old house and its associations.

  News from the Birds (Keyser). D. Appleton & Co.

      Excellent study and observation.

  Peasant and Prince (Martineau). Ginn & Co.; Univ. Pub. Co.

      An interesting narrative of French life just before the

  A Book of Famous Verse (Repplier). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A superior collection of poems.

  Nature Pictures by American Poets (Marble). The Macmillan Co.

      Choice poems descriptive of nature.

  Seven British Classics. American Book Co.

      A good collection of English masterpieces. Adapted also
      for regular reading in seventh and eighth grades.

  Star Land (Ball). Ginn & Co.

      A very interesting and well-written introduction to astronomy.

  Life of John Quincy Adams (Morse). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      The Statesmen Series.

  Poems of American Patriotism (Matthews). Scribner's Sons.


  Culture and Anarchy (Arnold). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

      It illustrates well Arnold's thought and style.

  Elaine (Tennyson). Maynard, Merrill, & Co.; The Macmillan Co.

      A beautiful poem, simple and musical, from the Idylls of the

  Great Words of Great Americans (Putnam).

      Papers and addresses of Washington and Lincoln.

  Literature in Schools (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A stimulating book for teachers of all grades.

  The Princess (Tennyson). Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; Maynard,
  Merrill, & Co.; American Book Co.

  Biblical Masterpieces (Moulton). The Macmillan Co.

  The Book Lover (Baldwin). A. C. McClurg & Co.

      A discussion of books and reading with lists of books and

  The Story of the Birds (Baskett). D. Appleton & Co.

      One of the superior books of nature study.

  Frail Children of the Air (Scudder). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A scientific but simple treatise on butterflies.

  Books and Culture (Mabie). Dodd, Mead, & Co.

      An attractive and valuable book on literature for teachers.

  Science Sketches (Jordan). A. C. McClurg & Co.

      A very attractive style in the treatment of scientific topics.

  Birds through an Opera Glass (Merriam). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Good outdoor study.

  Up and Down the Brooks (Bramford). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      A study of insect life in the streams.

  Essays, first series (Emerson). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Essays on history, self-reliance, compensation, and others.
      Teachers should study Emerson's essays.

  Heroes and Hero-Worship (Carlyle). A. C. McClurg & Co.; The Macmillan

      A great book and a good specimen of Carlyle's style and

  Introductory Lessons in English (McNeil and Lynch). American Book Co.

      A series of masterpieces with questions and discussions as
      to treatment in high schools.

  How to Teach Reading (Clark). Scott, Forsman, & Co.

      A pedagogical treatment of reading.

  Counsel upon the Reading of Books (Van Dyke). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

      Strong essays on books and reading from different points
      of view by strong writers.

  Romola (George Eliot). Various publishers.

      One of the great novels. Valuable in many ways.

  Macbeth (Shakespeare). Silver, Burdett, & Co.; D. C. Heath & Co.;
  The Macmillan Co.; American Book Co.; The Educational Publishing Co.;
  University Publishing Co.

      This and other great plays of Shakespeare should be read
      by teachers.

  Life of Hamilton (Statesmen Series). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Emerson's Self-Reliance. Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

  Life of Webster (Lodge), also John Quincy Adams (Morse). Houghton,
  Mifflin, & Co.

      From the Statesmen Series. Excellent reading for the teacher.

  Literary Study of the Bible (Moulton). D. C. Heath & Co.

      A valuable introduction to the literary appreciation of the

  The Marble Faun (Hawthorne). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Plutarch's Lives. Ginn & Co.; The Macmillan Co.; The Educational
  Publishing Co.

  Locke's Thoughts on Education. The Macmillan Co.

  Spencer's Education. D. Appleton & Co.

  Daniel Deronda (George Eliot).

  Dombey and Son (Charles Dickens).

  The Autobiography of John Stuart Mill.

  The Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire (Skinner). The American Book Co.

  Emerson's American Scholar. American Book Co.; Houghton, Mifflin, &
  Co.; Maynard, Merrill, & Co.

  The Judgment of Socrates. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Poets and Problems (Cooke). Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.

  Introduction to Tennyson, Ruskin, and Browning.

  A Century of Science and other Essays (Fiske). Houghton, Mifflin,
  & Co.

  American Writers of To-day (Vedder). Silver, Burdett, & Co.

  Ralph Waldo Emerson (Holmes). American Men of Letters Series.
  Houghton, Mifflin, & Co.


  Abbot, The, 242

  Abraham Lincoln, 242

  Adams, Bunker Hill, and Jefferson, 235, 240

  Adams, Life of John Quincy, 244

  Adams, Samuel, 237

  Adventures of Ulysses, 223

  Age of Chivalry, 227

  Age of Fable, 221

  Alexander the Great, 229

  Alhambra, 236

  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 219

  American Explorers, 226

  American Scholar, 246

  American War Ballads and Lyrics, 238

  American Writers of To-day, 246

  Andersen's Fairy Tales, 217

  Arabian Nights (Clarke), 224

  Arabian Nights (Hale), 224

  Arabian Nights, Stories from the, 216

  Autobiography (Franklin), 237, 241

  Autobiography of John Stuart Mill, 246

  Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, 239

  Baby Bell, the Little Violinist, and other prose and verse, 229

  Ballad Book, 218

  Ballads and Lyrics, 225

  Beginnings of New England, 222, 238

  Beginnings of New England, and Discovery of America, 226

  Being a Boy, 220

  Biblical Masterpieces, 244

  Bimbi, 218

  Biographical Stories (Hawthorne), 223, 229

  Birddom, 227, 238

  Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes, and other papers, 229

  Birds in the Bush, 238

  Birds through an Opera Glass, 244

  Bird-World, 217

  Black Beauty, 219

  Book Lover, 244

  Book of Famous Verse, 243

  Book of Golden Deeds, 225

  Book of Legends, 217

  Book of Tales, 217

  Books and Culture, 244

  Books and Libraries, 233

  Boy's Browning, 243

  Boy's King Arthur, 225

  Boys of '76, 232

  Brave Little Holland, 239

  Brownies, The, 219

  Browning, Boy's, 243

  Browning, Introduction to Tennyson, Ruskin, and, 246

  Building of the Ship, 229

  Bunch of Herbs, 237, 241

  Bunker Hill, Adams, and Jefferson, 235, 240

  Burke on Conciliation, 241

  Burke's Speech on Conciliation with America, 240

  Burns, Essay on, 239

  Cæsar, Story of, 230

  California and Oregon Trail, 221

  Camps and Firesides of the Revolution, 236

  Century of Science, and other essays, 246

  Champlain, Samuel de, 227

  Chesterfield, Letters of, 236

  Childhood in Literature and Art, 226

  Child Life in Poetry and Prose, 216

  Children's Hour, 223, 229

  Children's Hour, Paul Revere, and other papers, 229

  Children's Life of Abraham Lincoln, 226

  Children's Stories of American Literature, 221

  Children's Stories of American Literature, 1660-1860, 232

  Children's Stories of American Literature, 1860-1896, 238

  Children's Treasury of English Song, 219

  Child's History of England, 230

  Choice English Lyrics, 231

  Christmas Carol, 228

  Colonial Children, 224

  Coming of Arthur and Passing of Arthur, 228

  Conquest of Mexico, 230

  Conspiracy of Pontiac, 233

  Cotter's Saturday Night, 235

  Counsel upon the Reading of Books, 227, 245

  Courtship of Miles Standish, 228

  Cricket on the Hearth, 234

  Critical Period of American History, 238

  Crofton Boys, 236

  Culture and Anarchy, 244

  Daniel Deronda, 246

  David Copperfield, 221

  Deerslayer, 227

  Deserted Village, and the Traveller, 241

  Discovery of America, 221

  Discovery of America, Beginnings of New England, and, 226

  Dog of Flanders, 218

  Dombey and Son, 246

  Don Quixote, 231, 242

  Drake and his Yeomen, 227

  Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, 233

  Education, 246

  Education and the Larger Life, 238

  Elaine, 244

  Emerson, Poems of, 234

  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 246

  Emerson's Essays, 220

  Emerson's Essays, First Series, 245

  Enoch Arden and the Lotus Eaters, 234

  Essay on Burns, 239

  Essay on Milton, 233

  Essays (Emerson), 220

  Essays (Emerson), First Series, 245

  Eugene Field Book, 220

  Evangeline, 234

  Faerie Queen, Tales from the, 218

  Fairy Tales (Andersen), 217

  Fairy Tales in Prose and Verse, 219

  Familiar Flowers of Field and Garden, 239

  Famous Allegories, 231

  Fanciful Tales, 216

  Fifty Famous Stories Retold, 220

  First Book of Birds, 218

  First Bunker Hill Oration, 239

  Foot-path Way, 227, 243

  Fortune of the Republic, 233, 239

  Four American Naval Heroes, 226

  Four Great Americans, 217

  Frail Children of the Air, 244

  Franklin's Autobiography, 237, 241

  Frederick the Great, 232

  Friends and Helpers, 218

  Froissart, 230

  From Colony to Commonwealth, 237

  Gentle Boy, and other tales, 228

  Gettysburg Speech, 241

  Giles Corey, 229

  Gods and Heroes, 218

  Gold Bug, and other tales, 237

  Golden Age, 226

  Golden Arrow, 232

  Golden Treasury of Best Songs and Lyrical Poems, 235

  Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics, 231

  Grandfather's Chair, 229

  Grandmother's Story, and other poems, 235

  Great Debate (Hayne-Webster), 241

  Great Words of Great Americans, 244

  Greek Gods, Heroes, and Men, 225

  Greek Heroes, 216

  Greek Life and Story, 227

  Grimm's Household Tales, 217

  Gulliver's Travels, 223

  Gulliver's Voyage to Lilliput, 223

  Guy Mannering, 239

  Hamilton, Life of, 245

  Hamilton, Life of Alexander, 240

  Hans Andersen Stories, 218

  Hans Andersen Tales, 217

  Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates, 231

  Hard Times, 227

  Hatim Tai, 236

  Henry Esmond, 233

  Heroes and Hero Worship, 245

  Heroes and Patriots of the Revolution, 230

  Heroes of Asgard, 219

  Heroes of the Middle West, 220, 224

  Heroic Ballads, 223

  Hiawatha, 222

  Historical Tales, American, 225

  Historical Tales, English, 226, 230

  History and Literature, 220, 227

  History of England, 233

  Hoosier School Boy, 226

  Household Tales (Grimm), 217

  House of Seven Gables, 227, 243

  How to Teach Reading, 245

  Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker, 239

  Hunting of the Deer, 228

  Iliad (Bryant), 224, 233

  Iliad (Pope), 224

  In Bird Land, 221, 241, 243

  Introduction to Literature, 232

  Introduction to Ruskin, 233

  Introduction to Tennyson, Ruskin, and Browning, 246

  Introductory Lessons in English, 245

  Irving, Selections from, 230

  Ivanhoe, 227, 242

  Jackanapes, 219

  Jason's Quest, 225

  Jean Mitchell's School, 222

  Jean Valjean, 243

  Jefferson, Bunker Hill, Adams and, 235, 240

  Johnson, Life of Samuel, 239

  Judgment of Socrates, 246

  Julius Cæsar, 240

  King Arthur and his Court, 217

  King of the Golden River, 222

  Krag and Johnny Bear, 224

  Lady of the Lake, 241

  Landing of the Pilgrims, Orations on Washington and, 236

  La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, 221

  Last of the Mohicans, 233, 237

  Lay of the Last Minstrel, 231

  Lays of Ancient Rome, 222

  Leonard and Gertrude, 222

  Letters (Chesterfield), 236

  Life Histories of American Insects, 232

  Life of Alexander Hamilton, 240

  Life of Hamilton, 245

  Life of John Quincy Adams, 244

  Life of Nelson, 236, 243

  Life of Pestalozzi, 239

  Life of Samuel Johnson, 239

  Life of Washington, 235, 243

  Life of Webster, 245

  Lincoln, Abraham, 242

  Lincoln, Children's Life of Abraham, 226

  Literary Study of the Bible, 245

  Literature in Schools, 221, 244

  Little Daffydowndilly and Biographical Stories, 223

  Little Lame Prince, 218

  Little Lord Fauntleroy, 220

  Little Violinist, 229

  Lobo, Rag, and Vixen, 226

  Lotus Eaters, Enoch Arden and the, 234

  Mabel Martin, and other poems, 229

  Macbeth, 245

  Madam How and Lady Why, 238

  Marble Faun, 245

  Marmion, 241

  Masterpieces of American Literature, 239

  Men who made the Nation, 227

  Merchant of Venice, 234

  Mere Literature, 240

  Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, 219, 223

  Mill on the Floss, 239

  Milton, Essay on, 233

  Modern Painters, 239

  Montcalm and Wolfe, 233

  Moral Instruction of Children, 226

  My Hunt after the Captain, 242

  Myths of the Northern Lands, 220

  National Epics, 221

  Natural History of Selborne, 236

  Nature in Verse, 217

  Nature Pictures by American Poets, 221, 233, 243

  Nelson, Life of, 236, 243

  Nestlings in Forest and Marsh, 238

  News from the Birds, 227, 243

  Nicholas Nickleby, 233

  Nine Worlds, 231

  Norse Stories, 220

  Nürnberg Stove, 218

  Odyssey (Bryant), 224

  Odyssey (Butcher and Lang), 227

  Odyssey (Church), 225

  Odyssey of Homer (Palmer), 224

  Odyssey, Translation of Homer's (Palmer), 242

  Old Greek Folk Stories, 217

  Old Greek Story, 224

  Old Manse, and a Few Mosses, 243

  Old Norse Stories, 220

  Old Stories of the East, 218

  Old Testament Stories in Scripture Language, 217

  Old Virginia and her Neighbors, 232

  Oliver Twist, Story of, 231

  Open Sesame, 219, 225, 229, 238

  Orations on Washington and Landing of the Pilgrims, 236

  Our Country in Prose and Verse, 232

  Our Feathered Friends, 219

  Paul Revere, 229

  Peasant and Prince, 243

  Pestalozzi, Life of, 239

  Peter Schlemihl, 236

  Peter the Great, 232, 242

  Picciola, 236

  Pied Piper, and other poems, 223

  Pilgrims and Puritans, 231

  Pilgrim's Progress, 230

  Pilot, 222

  Pioneer History Stories, 225

  Pioneers of France in the New World, and La Salle and the Discovery
  of the Great West, 227

  Pioneers of the Revolution, 220

  Plant World, 235

  Plutarch's Lives, 236, 242, 245

  Poems of American Patriotism, 224, 244

  Poems of Emerson, 234

  Poetic Interpretation of Nature, 233, 240

  Poetry for Children, 221

  Poetry of the Seasons, 231, 235

  Poets and Problems, 246

  Poor Richard's Almanac, 235

  Prince and Pauper, 238

  Princess, 244

  Quentin Durward, 242

  Rab and his Friends, 231

  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 246

  Readings from the Spectator, 239

  Readings in Folklore, 220, 226

  Red Cross Story Book, 233

  Rob Roy, and Quentin Durward, 242

  Robinson Crusoe, 224

  Roger de Coverley, 240

  Romola, 245

  Rose and the Ring, 231

  Round the Year in Myth and Song, 217

  Rules of Conduct, 235

  Ruskin, Introduction to, 233

  Ruskin, Introduction to Tennyson, Browning, and, 246

  Ruskin (Selections), 242

  Samuel Adams, 237

  Samuel de Champlain, 227

  Samuel Johnson, Life of, 239

  Scarlet Letter, 233

  Schoolmaster in Comedy and Satire, 246

  Schoolmaster in Literature, 233

  Science Sketches, 244

  Secrets of the Woods, 220, 224

  Selections (Ruskin), 242

  Selections from Irving, 230

  Self-reliance, 245

  Sella, Thanatopsis, and other poems, 234

  Sesame and Lilies, 221, 226

  Seven American Classics, 229

  Seven British Classics, 243

  Shakespeare's Tragedies, 235

  Sharp Eyes, Birds and Bees, and other papers, 229

  Siege of Leyden, 238

  Silas Marner, 236

  Six Centuries of English Poetry, 239

  Sketch Book, 228

  Snow-Bound, and Songs of Labor, 228

  Sohrab and Rustum, 234

  Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, 223

  Songs of Labor, Snow-Bound and, 228

  Sounds, Succession of Forest Trees, Wild Apples, and, 242

  Source Book of American History, 230, 235

  Source Book of English History, 232

  Spectator, Readings from the, 239

  Squirrels and Other Fur-bearers, 217, 223

  Star Land, 244

  Stories from English History, 232

  Stories from Herodotus, 225

  Stories from Old English Poetry, 230

  Stories from Old German, 220

  Stories from Plato, 220

  Stories from the Arabian Nights, 216

  Stories from the Classic Literature of Many Nations, 237

  Stories from Waverley, 231

  Stories, Hans Andersen, 218

  Stories of American Life and Adventure, 219, 223

  Stories of Animal Life, 232

  Stories of Bird Life, 232

  Stories of Our Country, 217

  Stories of the Old World, 219

  Story of a Bad Boy, 231

  Story of Cæsar, 230

  Story of Oliver Twist, 231

  Story of Our Continent, 226

  Story of Roland, 226

  Story of Siegfried, 225

  Story of the Birds, 244

  Story of the English, 225

  Story of the Golden Age, 224

  Story of the Greeks, 225

  Story of the Iliad, 220

  Story of the Odyssey (Church), 221, 225

  Story of Troy, 225

  Story of Ulysses, 218

  Story-teller's Art, 222

  Study and Teaching of English, 240

  Succession of Forest Trees, Wild Apples, and Sounds, 242

  Swiss Family Robinson, 230

  Tale of Two Cities, 239, 243

  Tales from English History, 223

  Tales from Scottish History, 223

  Tales from Shakespeare, 230

  Tales from the Faerie Queen, 218

  Tales, Hans Andersen, 217

  Tales of a Grandfather, 234

  Tales of a Traveler, 221, 231

  Tales of a Wayside Inn, 240

  Tales of Chivalry, 225

  Tales of the White Hills, and Sketches, 228

  Tales of Troy, 219

  Talisman, 232, 243

  Talks to Teachers, 221

  Tanglewood Tales, 222

  Ten Boys on the Road from Long Ago, 224

  Ten Great Events in History, 230

  Tennyson, Introduction to, Ruskin, and Browning, 246

  Thanatopsis, Sella, and other poems, 234

  Thoughts on Education, 245

  Three Outdoor Papers, 229

  Through the Looking Glass, 219

  Tom Brown's School Days, 237

  Tommy-Anne and the Three Hearts, 218

  Town Geology, 238

  Translation of Homer's Odyssey (Palmer), 242

  Traveller, Deserted Village and the, 241

  Treasure Island, 243

  Twelve Naval Captains, 238

  Twice Told Tales, 232

  Two Great Retreats, 236, 242

  Two Years before the Mast, 237

  Ulysses among the Phæacians, 223

  Ulysses, Story of, 218

  Uncle Tom's Cabin, 237

  Undine, 231

  Up and down the Brooks, 244

  Vicar of Wakefield, 232, 237

  Vision of Sir Launfal, 240

  Wake Robin, 227

  War of Independence, 240

  Washington and his Country, 240

  Washington, and Landing of the Pilgrims, Orations on, 236

  Washington Irving, 233

  Washington, Life of, 235, 243

  Waste Not, Want Not, 218

  Water Babies, 222

  Waverley, Stories from, 231

  Ways of Wood Folk, 221, 223

  Webster, Life of, 245

  Westward Ho!, 226, 233

  Wild Apples, Succession of Forest Trees, and Sounds, 242

  Wilderness Ways, 226, 231

  William Tell, 230, 235

  Winning of the West, 222

  Wonder Book, 216

  Yesterdays with Authors, 242

       *       *       *       *       *

Tarr and McMurry's Geographies


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Tarr and McMurry's Geographies


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