It is not considered necessary to offer an apology for the publication of a work on English grammar and composition for the Public Schools of Ontario.
The plan of the work is inductive and practical, and the author has endeavored to make the book a useful one for the purposes of teaching. Every principle is presented through the observation of examples of good English.
The study of grammar aids the student to master his mother-tongue, but its chief function is to secure mental discipline. For the development of the intellectual powers, the capable teacher, well furnished with rational methods, will find this study superior to all others. It is a study in recognizing similarities, in distinguishing differences, in making abstractions, in forming generalizations. The object of Parts I.-IV. of this book is to contribute something to the science of elementary English grammar.
Part V. treats of composition. The usual exercises in completing half-built sentences, in straightening out wrecks of sentences, in combining simple sentences into complex sentences, in expanding phrases into clauses, etc., will not be found therein. They have done quite enough towards fostering stupidity in our schools. The art of expression is acquired through steady practice, therefore pupils should write compositions not once a week, but during part of every period, about things which they understand. They should be taught good form in expression, and trained to correct their own exercises.
This part of the work, though brief, will be found suggestive. Teachers and pupils have not been deprived of the pleasure and profit of an independent examination of the construction of the prose selections.