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Notes are added when they are likely to be needed; they are not furnished when the pupil may find for himself necessary information in any good dictionary or when the information does not contribute directly to the appreciation of the literature being studied. Notes that make small contribution at too great a cost of the child's time or effort are likewise omitted. It is much more important to secure interest in the masterpiece as a whole than to defeat the larger end of the teaching of literature by a tedious consideration of petty details.
The questions appended to each selection are not by any means meant to supplant the teacher but rather to direct the attention of the pupil to points about which it is desirable for him to think before coming to recitation. They do not ask for a mere restatement of facts; instead, they attempt to indicate in most cases some important theme or in some way to relate such a theme to the life of the pupil.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to various authors and publishers for permission to use material on which they hold copyright; to Joseph Conrad for the excerpt from “Youth"; to Elbert Hubbard for "A Message to Garcia"; to Franklin K. Lane for "The American Flag”; to Henry Newbolt for “Lampada Vitaï”; to Doubleday, Page & Co. for the excerpt from Owen Johnson's "The Varmint'; to Ford, Howard & Hulbert for the selection from Beecher's “Patriotic Addresses in America and England, 1850-1885"; to the Macmillan Co., the authorized American publishers of Tennyson's works, for "The Revenge”; to Charles Scribner's Sons for the poems by Van Dyke and Holland; to Whitaker & Ray for Miller's “Columbus”; to the Youth's Companion for Bennett's “The Flag.' The protected selections from Abbott, Browning, and Lowell are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, the Houghton, Mifflin Co. Especial acknowledgment is due to Helen Harriman Briggs for generous assistance in selecting and editing the material used in the book.