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THE specimens included in this volume may lay claim to representing a greater range in subject matter, in typical forms, and in levels of style than other compilations of the same kind. Here will be found a good deal of that literature of ideas which forms the staple of some recent volumes of selections. But in addition to those things which form a common ground of interest to all students, the editors have taken account of the special interest of the engineering and agricultural student, and aimed to provide material which should appeal particularly to his taste without being so technical in treatment as to baffle the lay intelligence. To diminish further the "literary" and "classical" odium, the volume includes a few models which do not rise above respectable mediocrity, mechanically correct and workmanlike pieces of writing, devoid of all distinction of style but fulfilling certain definite requirements of modern journalistic practice. A similar purpose is served by the appendix of student themes, which have been chosen as affording a standard of writing which the undergraduate might reasonably be expected to attain. It is in accordance, furthermore, with the same principle of immediacy of appeal that a considerable proportion of the matter has been taken from contemporary writers. Contemporary models are of value in the first place as illustrating the standard practice, but they have an additional advantage in that they do not overawe the beginner as the mighty masters of old are likely to. They are helpful indeed in emphasizing the enduring force of the principles which underlie the practice of the traditional masters of writing. Between the acknowledged masterpieces and the less tried material in this volume the editors have aimed to preserve an equal balance.


The reason for the classification, the particular function of each selection in the general scheme, the analysis of features of technical and stylistic interest, and the explanations of facts and allusions necessary to the understanding of the text constitute the substance of the notes. Such matters as diction, sentence structure, and paragraphing, as well as larger structural qualities and points of literary technique, are briefly discussed at some appropriate point in the notes and frequently alluded to throughout. Out of fear of omitting suggestions that some students and instructors might find helpful, these notes often risk the peril of being obvious. Perhaps they need no other apology than that those who find them superfluous can safely neglect them. The secondary classification (in Appendix II) of Exposition. and Argument according to the kinds of material and of Description according to features of technical interest is intended as an index to the different points of view from which the material in this volume may be approached.

The editors wish to acknowledge their obligation to publishers and authors for generous permission to use material, notably The Macmillan Company, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Harper and Brothers, Doubleday, Page and Company, T. Y. Crowell and Company, Charles Scribner's Sons, Longmans, Green and Company, D. C. Heath and Company, The Century Company, Columbia University Press, University of Chicago Press, Cambridge University Press, The North American Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Outlook, The Independent, McClure's Magazine, Edinburgh Review, Political Science Quarterly, The (New York) Nation, Engineering Record, Scientific American, The (New York) World, Mr. Fabian Franklin, Mr. Arnold Bennett, Mr. E. Dana Durand, Mr. Stuart P. Sherman, Mr. John Dewey, and Mr. A. E. Shipley, Head-Master of Christ's College, Cambridge. They wish also to acknowledge their indebtedness to many friends for helpful suggestions.

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Henry Bradley
John Dewey

Ira B. Cross .
William Hazlitt

John Henry Newman

On the Physical Basis of Life
The Middle and Lower Classes in

England under the Stuarts.
Inaugural Address

Stewart Edward White

C. William Beebe

Edward B. Tylor

Woodrow Wilson

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Joseph Husband
"Popular Mechanics"

"Scientific American"


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