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At the present moment the teaching of literature may be said to have developed to the point when question and answer, problem and solution, obscurity and elucidation, are simultaneously thrust upon the learner's attention, in order that he may for not one conscious moment entertain the feeling of curiosity and interest, that he may be saved all need of exploration, that he may be excused from independent thinking and have merely to bend over his book and learn his lesson. Such is the note stage thus far reached in the evolution of literature teaching.

In order that our condition may not become one of arrested development, teachers must accept cordially and without misgiving the idea that the making of notes is precisely the business of the student himself, and that he cannot be denied this exercise without suffering irreparable loss. Youthful curiosity at length becomes atrophied if left unemployed. The work of research that the maker of notes has to undertake is too pleasant and stimulating to be withheld from the learner. For the teacher to explain everything in advance, or to allow notes to explain it in advance, and then to expect of the class only to say back what has just been said to them, is to reduce teaching to the lowest depths of imbecility.

I have always found that pupils like to be given something to do. They like to be set at work to find out things not obvious at a glance. They like to conquer difficulties. They like the adventure of searching a library for a hidden reference. What a note gives them they accept without emotion, - almost without consciousness, - such long years have they spent already over the books and paper in their desks. For further

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burrowing in that petty area it is no longer possible to rouse their zeal. They are old enough to go hunting in larger fields. High school youth are in the note-making period of mental growth. They should annotate their own texts, and should be taught to scorn silly offerings of help. They too can handle dictionaries and encyclopædias, tease librarians, rummage in histories and biographies: and this is all that the note-maker can do for them.

Having found the presence of a mass of explanatory notes an obstacle to my endeavor to interest my pupils in their English reading, I have essayed to suggest a better method of procedure by preparing texts in such a manner as rather to call for research than to make research needless by giving its results. A note that tells at once what is wanted forestalls the teacher. I would co-operate with the teacher by aiding him to set the pupils at work. Accordingly I have offered no notes whatever on passages easily explained by reference to dictionaries and encyclopædias, except perchance to give a warning that such research should not be omitted. Only when I have found the way of research a little dark or crooked have I hinted at the path to be pursued. The “notes” in this volume, therefore, are distinctly meant to send the learner away from the little books in his little desk to the larger and more abundant books of the school library, and to the public and other libraries to which he may

have access.

I have myself found it a joy to conquer these small difficulties: this joy I would share with my pupils.

For the general reader an English text may be furnished with any amount of labor-saving apparatus. The general reader wants to luxuriate in his reading and not be constantly sent to books of reference. To him it is intolerably tedious to be obliged to make work of his reading. But the pupil in school is the very antithesis of the general reader. The pupil will not read to while away his time, but to learn how to investigate ; he is not to court his ease at his tasks, but to whet his curiosity and give it free range; he is not so enamoured of his school desk and his long hours at it but he will be at least willing to rise and try new postures and new muscles. Pedagogic annotation, therefore, should not be directed toward the saving of labor : much rather should it be full of exhortations and promptings to labor. This point, dear learner, you do not understand; but the way to attain an understanding of it is a pleasant one ; here are a few directions to enable you to make a start. In this spirit, I conceive, should English texts for schools be annotated.

Intelligent reading implies the use of certain literary apparatus, access to which is possible to almost every member of an American community. The function of the school, with regard to this apparatus, is to show its value and to train in the methods of putting it to use. High schools should graduate their pupils expert in the handling of dictionaries and encyclopædias, quick to surmise which way to turn to find information about men and things. To make the little text-book selfsufficing is to make it false to the facts of real life, for the real books of the world are bound together by infinite links of mutual explanation, and every book of value must be read with reference to other books. Pupils are to be trained in the art of literary exploration. They

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are to be trained to the habit of satisfying their curiosity. The youth who is capable of curiosity, and who knows how to proceed to find the thing he wants, has one of the best gifts that the school course in literature can bestow upon him. The youth who read his English in books where notes told him what he wanted before he knew that he wanted it, is left in the lurch when he comes to read the books that imply knowledge or skill in finding knowledge.

No self-respecting teacher will accept a text-book that presupposes his own ignorance or his utter lack of opportunity to communicate his knowledge. much engrossed with our work, of course, and have not much time for extraneous matters : but explaining difficulties, so far from being a business extraneous to our duty, is its very heart and soul. First of all things, the teacher is presumed to know his subject. If he teaches literature, he claims to know how to teach literature, to be at home in the literary field. A generation of teachers bred on explanatory notes undergoes paralysis of the teaching faculty, and sinks into inane dependence on adventitious aids. For their own culture, as well as for their control of wise methods, teachers of English need to qualify themselves to be their own expositors of texts. The literature of the mother tongue herein differs from that in the ancient languages. We may grant that classic philology is too recondite for secondary teachers to master. Teachers of Latin and Greek may cleave to their notes. But English philology is near to our homes and lies patent to the seeker of average industry and acumen. To treat English literature as if it lay the other side of the middle ages is to commit the absurdest mistake of modern scholastic methods.

The notes appended to this selection from the writings of Addison and Macaulay are therefore not explanatory. They will be found to be rather queries than answers to queries. They have grown out of my own experience in reading this very matter with high school classes. My way of procedure is this.

As soon as a point appears that evidently needs elucidation, I assign it to a particular pupil for research. If this research threatens to lead the pupil into a maze so hopeless as to cause discouragement and waste of time, I give hints more or less broad as to the course to be pursued. Pupils will search long and eagerly for the thing they want; but they have other studies, and their limitations must be respected. Hence they usually need help. But they take infinite pleasure in finding the object of their quest and in reporting their successes. At each recitation a few pupils are ready with their reports. Meanwhile they have been in the various libraries of the city, calling for books, searching indexes, taking notes. In short, they have been ardently at work studying literature. They have been in contact with books, and have learned to appreciate somewhat the interrelationship of the members of the great literary family. Often they make independent discoveries, and report the most interesting and amusing facts, more or less germane to the strict object of their commission.

Whatever historical knowledge pupils have acquired comes of course directly into play in this work of literary research. History and literature go hand in hand. Books of history and biography are oftenest the ones to which students of literature must resort. The past begins to open only to the student who explores many

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