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A COURSE IN ENGLISH
COLLEGES AND HIGH SCHOOLS
MARY E. BURT
Of the Chicago Board of Education; Formerly Teacher of Liter-
Author of "Literary Landmarks.
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
R 1911 L
Press of Hornstcin Bros., Chicago,
"Literature is the autobiography of the human race," says James Russell Lowell.
As in the lines of the face we can read the language of the heart, so in Literature can we read the soulhistory of humanity.
To study mankind as if its entire life were the life of one individual, to see at every point the necessity of that period in its development, to watch the race in its struggles after truth; this is the real motive for the study of Literature. Too much stress has been heretofore put on superficial motives for this great study; the cultivation of artistic perception, the getting a large knowledge of writers, a practical acquaintance with rhetoric, metaphors and similes, different styles in writing, an abundant store of subject-matter. None of these things are vital. "The proper study of mankind is man," for it is in our contact with human beings that our development rests. A physical environment, in which there are no human beings, is wholly insufficient for the development of the human soul. When man is deprived of human fellowship he becomes idiotic. Nothing can take his place. Christ became man that he might save man. A real teacher of Literature will never willingly present this subject to his pupils with any motive below the highest, and it is to awaken this ideal and to render it practical that this book is presented.
Chicago, 1890. Mary E. Burt.