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AUTHOR OF “ ENGLISH, OR THE ART OF COMPOSITION," “ HELPS TO
ENGLISH GRAMMAR,” ETC., ETC.
- Facies non omnibus una,
WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND ILLUSTRATIVE AUTHORITIES,
BY HENRY REED, LL.D.,
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
M DCCC XLVII.
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1846,
By D. APPLETON & COMPANY,
District of New York.
NOV - 9-1916
THE AMERICAN EDITION.
This treatise is republished and edited with the hope that it will be found useful as a text-book in the study of our own language. As a subject of instruction, the study of the English tongue does not receive that amount of systematic attention which is due to it, whether it be combined or no with the study of the Greek and Latin. In the usual courses of education, it has no larger scope than the study of some rhetorical principles and practice and of grammatical rules, which, for the most part, are not adequate to the composite character and varied idiom of English speech. This is far from being enough to give the needful knowledge of what is the living language, both of our English literature and of the multiform intercourse-oral and written-of our daily lives. The language deserves better care and more sedulous culture; it needs much more to preserve its purity and to guide the progress of its life. The young, instead of having only such familiarity with their native speech as practice without method or theory gives, should be so taught and trained as to acquire a habit of using words -whether with the voice or the pen-fitly and truly, intelligently and conscientiously.
For such training this book, it is believed, will prove serviceable. The * Practical Exercises,' attached to the explanations of the words, are conveniently prepared for the routine of instruction. The value of a course of this kind, regularly and carefully completed, will be more than the amount of information gained respecting the words that are explained. It will tend to produce a thoughtful and accurate use of language, and thus may be acquired, almost unconsciously, that which is not only a critical but a moral habit of mind—the habit of giving utterance to truth in simple, clear and precise terms-of telling one's thoughts and feelings in words that express nothing more and nothing less. It is thus that we may learn how to escape the evils of vagueness, obscurity and perplexity—the manifold mischiefs of words used thoughtlessly and at random, or words used in ignorance and confusion.