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About ten years ago I published a short sketch of what was then a new method of analysing sentences. Having seen the value of the logical analysis of language abroad, as an instrument of mental education, I wished to see, how far I might adapt the same method to the study of English Grammar in this country.
As the method gradually became known and appreciated, I found it desirable to publish both a larger and a smaller grammar, based on the same system, all of which have now come into very extensive circulation. One thing was yet wanting to complete the series, and render the analytic method practically easy of application to teachers of all classes,– and that was a well assorted selection of English Poetry, in which the whole system of analysis could be exhibited, its laws exemplified, and its difficulties solved. This is the main object now aimed at in the present work, which is sent out to the public in obedience to the wish, that has been expressed to me by many teachers for several years past.
The specific purposes, to which this little book may be applied, are various, and it will be well to point them out distinctly in the preface, in order the more to facilitate the use of it to teachers generally.
1. First then, it is intended to be used as a Poetical Reading Book. Many good selections of English Poetry no doubt exist, suitable for this purpose, but none, which can be used in the same way as this. Good reading is one of the rarest of accomplishments; and the fundamental principle upon which alone it can be based, is a clear comprehension of the various limbs and portions of those more complex sentences in their relation to each other, of which the higher style of composition so largely consists. Now, in the present case, the structure of the sentences is indicated (at least throughout the greater portion of the work) by a very simple system of marks, with which the pupil can very readily become familiar; so that he is put immediately upon the right track for reading even the most complicated passages with an intelligent appreciation of the sense to be conveyed. The teacher, moreover, can use these same indications, in order to illustrate the faults of the pupil; and to show him, what words or phrases should be brought out