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are found. These should form the basis of special drill exercises. The habit of using the dictionary and other reference books for pronunciation and meaning of words, for historical and mythical allusions should be steadily cultivated. Under “Helps to Study” will be found vocabulary lists. These include a few words found in the lesson which pupils are expected to make a part of their vocabulary, to incorporate into their daily speech, and to use when occasion requires. Pupils should master these words and make them their own. Growth of vocabulary is a necessary part of the daily reading lesson of all pupils.
To discriminating teachers it will be apparent that this book is not the usual school reader. On the contrary, it differs widely from this in the cultural value of the selections, in the classification and arrangement of material, in the variety of interests to which it appeals, and in the abundance of classic literature from British and American authors which it contains. It aims to furnish the best in poetry and prose to be found in the literature of the English-speaking race, and to furnish it in abundance. If these familiar old selections, long accepted as among the best in literature, shall be the means of cultivating in pupils a taste for good reading, and at the same time shall have that refining influence on character which good literature always has, then the book will have fulfilled its purpose.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to those who have given valuable suggestions and help in the compilation of this book.
The Authors. February, 1911.
Better-a thousand times better-than all the material wealth the world can give is the love for the best books.
THE FLAG OF OUR COUNTRY*
ROBERT C. WINTHROP
Robert C. Winthrop (1809-1894) an American orator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He made an address at the laying of the corner-stone of the Washington monument in 1848, and again when the monument was completed in 1885. These were his most famous public addresses.
THERE is the national flag. He must be cold indeed who can look upon its folds, rippling in the breeze, without pride of country. If he be in a foreign land, the flag is companionship
and country itself, with all its endearments. Its highest beauty 5 is in what it symbolizes. It is because it represents all, that all gaze at it with delight and reverence.
It is a piece of bunting lifted in the air; but it speaks sublimely, and every part has a voice. Its stripes of alternate red
and white proclaim the original union of thirteen states to 10 maintain the Declaration of Independence. Its stars of white
on a field of blue proclaim that union of states constituting our national constellation, which receives a new star with every new state. The two together signify union past and present.
The very colors have a language which was officially recog15 nized by our fathers. White is for purity, red for valor, blue for justice; 'and altogether, bunting, stripes, stars, and colors,
*From an address on Boston Common in 1802.