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In presenting this volume to teachers of English composition, the editors realize that it can hardly fail to suffer from the suspicion of novelty which confronts new publications in a conservative educational field. It is hoped, however, that initial distrust of the book because of its novelty will not outlive a fair trial of the methods and materials which it offers. This hope is based upon successful experiment with much of the substance of the volume among students as varied and as cosmopolitan as the undergraduates in Columbia College, and upon the generous and often enthusiastic support that the underlying idea has received from prominent educators throughout the country who have had occasion to pass judgment upon its value.

In the preparation of the collection for classroom use we have prefixed to each essay a brief introductory note intended to give relevant biographical facts and to assist the student to an understanding of the design of the work. In addition, where suggestions as to other material of direct bearing upon the subject under discussion seemed to us to be of value for collateral reading, we have included references to such writings. Some of the authors' footnotes to the essays have been omitted as foreign to the purpose of the book, and others have been supplied wherever the text seemed to require elucidation or interpretation. Our principle has been, however, to restrict the formal teaching apparatus of the volume to the general introduction, and to encumber the selections themselves with the minimum of annotation. In the printing of the essays we have followed accurately the original forms, retaining sub-titles and numbered divisions where these were essential to the logical arrangement of the essay.

This volume includes substantially the essays which, when we first discussed the plan of publication, we chose tentatively


as the most available for our purpose. That what seemed to us the ideal plan should be brought to completion with scarcely a modification is for us a matter for special gratitude, since any effort to reproduce on an extensive scale writings still in copyright must be conditioned largely upon the generosity of publishers. Our thanks for publishing privileges, therefore, are emphatically more than formal. We have been enabled to use copyright material through the kindness of Mr. Henry James, Jr., Dr. Dole, Mr. Mallock, Professor Hobhouse, Professor Clark, President Hadley, and Mr. Harrison; and by the permission of Messrs. D. Appleton and Company, Henry Holt and Company, Longmans, Green, and Company, John Murray, The Macmillan Company, the American Association for International Conciliation, the Fortnightly Review, the Harvard Theological Review, and the Atlantic Monthly. We desire also to express our acknowledgments to Viscount Morley and Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, and to Macmillan and Company (London), the Popular Science Monthly, the Contemporary Review, and the Edinburgh Co-operative Printing Company Limited.

The task of selecting the essays and preparing the collection for publication has been materially lightened by the friendly coöperation of a number of our colleagues who have interested themselves in the undertaking. We are under special obligation to Professor John Erskine, to whom in large measure the credit for the educational program must be given, and who has aided our work with many helpful suggestions. Others to whom we have been indebted for advice and active interest are Professor Frederick J. E. Woodbridge, Professor Herbert G. Lord, Professor Ashley H. Thorndike, Professor Robert A. Harper, Professor Monroe Smith, Mr. Frederick P. Keppel, Dean of Columbia College, Professor Joseph V. Denney, of Ohio State University, Dr. Carl Van Doren, Mr. John J. Coss, and Dr. Ernest Stagg Whitin.

H. R. S.


June, 1912.

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