THE content in this page is divided into three kinds, indicated by varieties of type and it is important that the object of this arrangement should be clearly understood.
It is intended that the students and the teachers should first go through the content, learning the matter in the largest typo only, with the declensions and conjugations and with such oral explanations from the teacher and such portion of the Exercises, as may be found expedient.
Having gone over the whole ground once or perhaps twice, in this way, the students and the teachers will be prepared to take up profitably the remaining portion of the Exercises and the matter in the intermediate type. This intermediate matter, however, is not intended to be committed to memory verbatim, like the rules and definitions in the largest type.
In this page we have selected from our larger Grammar those portions which are purely of an elementary character and which are studied by beginners in first going over the subject. The whole of Prosody, all of the chapter on the Derivation of Words and the fine print matter of the other portions are omitted. On the other hand, copious explanations and a complete series of practical exercises are appended to the several definitions and rules. The knowledge of each rule and definition is thus thoroughly tested
and impressed on the memory before the pupil is allowed to proceed to more advanced knowledge. The work, as now offered, is the result of long experience in the class-room and of no little reading and study. The English language and its literature have been for many years the main subjects of our inquiry and we have endeavored in this volume to
give the results of our observations in the form which our experience as teachers has convinced us to be the best adapted to the wants of the learner. A word as to the method perused. We have endeavored to bear in mind that we are writing, not a treatise for the learned, but a text-book for learners. The first and most imperative demand is CLEARNESS— clearness of arrangement and clearness of expression.
Next and hardly less imperative is the demand that the more and the less important should be carefully discriminated and the difference plainly set forth to the eye.
A third imperative demand is that the rules, definitions and other matter to be committed to memory should be expressed with the utmost possible conciseness.
A fourth requisite is that every rule and definition should be supported and illustrated by a goodly array of apt practical examples. These are as necessary in teaching grammar as sums are in teaching arithmetic.
How far these things have been secured is for the reader to judge.