Choice Literary Selections
In order that the principles of grammar, illustrated by the study of the sentences and the short selections from literature already given in this book, may be made more general in their application, and the value of grammar as an aid to the interpretation of literature may be emphasized, several longer selections of recognized merit are added.
It is of great value to the young student to understand how words, phrases, and clauses increase the power of expression, and add to the strength and beauty of sentences. Such understanding is augmented by a right application of the principles of grammar to literary selections such as are here given.
Whoever makes such selections his own in the ways herein indicated has a literary fund that will produce greater wealth in the broader field of literature.
In the study of these selections it should be the aim of the teacher to prove that the most important office of grammar for the young student is its use in making clear the vital relations which exist between grammar and literature, - to show that grammar helps to understand literature.
When the true relations of grammar to literature are appreciated, the love for the study of grammar is no longer in doubt, its place as a favorite study is already established, and its value to the student correspondingly increased.
These principles of grammar applied to the study of poetical selections are of great value in making their meaning clear.
The beauties of poetry can never be fully appreciated until the grammatical constructions, as herein outlined, are somewhat familiar to the pupils.
Each teacher will use these selections for the kind of study best suited to develop the power of the class. The theme for study may be the real merit of short sentences easily understood; the more involved thought of long sentences, requiring considerable study; the value of a single paragraph by itself, or in its relation to other paragraphs in the selection; the grouping of sentences or of paragraphs; or a selection as a whole. In every case the unity of the sentence should be made prominent. Although some of the most beautiful sentences in our language are long, and somewhat involved, it must be borne in mind that young writers seldom have occasion to use sentences of great length.