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This book is intended to give, first, a simple account of the elementary facts of English Grammar, so far as they relate to the construction of sentences; and, secondly, a short sketch of the fundamental principles of English Composition. I have attempted to explain these matters in a manner that may be both useful and interesting to young students; to teach them to write with accuracy and clearness; and to lead them to the study of the masterpieces of English Prose and Verse. In fixing the limits of the work, I have been guided chiefly by the requirements of the University of Cambridge in the Local Examinations.
In preparing myself for a task, for which I had no special qualification, I learnt much from Professor E. Mätzner's great work on the English language, and I have had the further advantage of constant reference to Dr. A. Schmidt's copious and accurate Dictionary of the Language of Shakespeare.
I am greatly indebted for corrections and suggestions to many friends, who have assisted me in the revision of the proof-sheets. I shall be grateful for any advice that readers of the book may be disposed to give.
I fear that I have trusted too much to memory in citing passages from the poets, and that some slight errors— like that in the quotation from Dryden on page 15, where untainted is put for unspotted—have yet to be discovered.
J. HAMBLIN SMITH.
CAMBRIDGE: April, 1876.