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PREFACE.

WHEN we keep in view the fact that the office of Grammar is not to make language or the rules which govern the use of it, but rather to record that usage for the benefit of him who speaks the language, can we, in truth, say that English is a "grammarless tongue"? It is true it has not the variety of inflection found in the Latin or the Greek, but it has fixed principles and idioms which neither the advocate of English Grammar nor his most learned and argumentative opponent pretends to ignore or contradict.

Many earnest teachers exclaim against the teaching of technical grammar, forgetful of the fact that it is not the science itself, but the mode of presenting it to the pupil, which is at fault. What the beginner needs is lessons in English to form for him correct habits of speech. These lessons should be given preparatory to any instruction in the science of Grammar, but the science upon which the principles illustrated in the lessons are based is none the less necessary to him who would use the language with precision and elegance.

It is the office of the grammarian to examine into the structure of the language, and formulate the laws which seem to have governed its use by the most reputable writers and speakers. These rules or laws are the standard by which every speaker or writer must judge, and test the correctness of his own speech. In applying the tests to his own language, the student may find it a difficult matter at times to correct bad habits of speech formed early in life, but this is no argument against the science of Grammar.

But English Grammar has other important ends to serve, independent of training one to use the English language correctly. The close, accurate habits of thought engendered by the critical analysis of the English sentence, and the cultivation of keen perception in the correction and criticism of errors in speech, are of incalculable value to the learner as a thinking citizen of the future.

Believing that a love for the literature of our language may be cultivated while the learner pursues the study of Grammar, the Author has made his selections for parsing and analysis from reputable

English writers. It will be noticed also that in almost every instance the name of the author is attached, and while the selections have been made largely to illustrate the language and its idiom, pure, noble, elevating sentiment has not been forgotten in the choice.

Attention is directed to the simplicity of the written method of analysis. As a labor-saver, when it is desirable to have pupils write out or diagram the analysis of a sentence, it is believed the plan here set forth has never been equaled for simplicity and system.

Attention is called also to the general make-up or arrangement of the book and the clearness and conciseness with which the various principles are stated.

The system of Analysis, beginning on page 119, is not only simple, but also comprehensive. It is true, many more subdivisions, perplexing in name and metaphysical in character, might be made, but of what use would they be? The Author believes in simplifying the science, not in making it needlessly difficult and intricate for the learner.

The chapter on Punctuation will be found to embrace the leading principles, set forth in such a manner as to be not only interesting but also easily mastered.

Care has been taken to give plenty of exercises, not only in the construction and analysis of sentences, but also for correction; and among those for correction it will be noticed the Author has recorded many from some of the most reputable writers of English. These form one of the strongest arguments in favor of the close and accurate study of the principles of English Grammar. Such sentences must not be quoted as correct because used by noted writers. They tend rather to show that those who have written the purest English have now and then been careless or have ceased to be vigilant over their use of language. Few men-possibly none-have ever written in whose productions some errors may not be found contradicting the rules of Grammar, which in general have been the writer's guide. After a most extensive and elaborate course of reading, De Quincey testifies that he has met with only two or three writers who did not sometimes violate the accidence or the syntax of English Grammar. The Author hopes this venture may meet not only the needs, but also the approbation, of progressive teachers.

ALBERT N. RAUB,

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