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Short Stories of Various Types   By:

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Merrill's English Texts


Edited with an Introduction and Notes by

LAURA F. FRECK, Head of the English Department in the High School, Jamestown, New York


Charles E. Merrill Company New York and Chicago

Merrill's English Texts

This series of books includes in complete editions those masterpieces of English Literature that are best adapted for the use of schools and colleges. The editors of the several volumes are chosen for their special qualifications in connection with the texts issued under their individual supervision, but familiarity with the practical needs of the classroom, no less than sound scholarship, characterizes the editing of every book in the series.

In connection with each text, the editor has provided a critical and historical introduction, including a sketch of the life of the author and his relation to the thought of his time, critical opinions of the work in question chosen from the great body of English criticism, and, where possible, a portrait of the author. Ample explanatory notes of such passages in the text as call for special attention are supplied, but irrelevant annotation and explanations of the obvious are rigidly excluded.


Copyright, 1920 by Charles E. Merrill Co.


These stories have been chosen from authors of varied style and nationalities for use in high schools. The editor has had especially in mind students of the first year of the high school or the last year of the junior high school. The plots are of various types and appeal to the particular interests and awakening experiences of young readers. For instance, there will be found among these tales the detective story by the inimitable Conan Doyle; the true story of adventure, with an animal for the central figure, by Katherine Mayo; the fanciful story by the great stylist Hawthorne; tales of humor or pathos; of simple human love; of character; of nature; of realism; and of idealism. The settings give glimpses of the far West, the middle West, the East, of several foreign countries, of great cities, of little villages, and of the open country.

Each story should be read for the first time at a single sitting so that the pupil's mind may receive the single dramatic effect in its unity of impression as the author desired, and more especially that the pupil may enjoy the story first of all as a story, not as a lesson. The pupil of this age, however, will not arrive at the other desirable points to be gained unless he then studies each story with the help of the study questions, of the related biographical sketch, and of the introductory notes, as the teacher feels they are needed for the closer study of the particular story.

The stories may be studied happily in connection with the student's composition work. For example, when he has read an adventure story and his mind is stirred by it, why not assign for his next composition, a story of an adventure in which he has been interested or has figured? The mechanics of composition, moreover, are more interestingly learned in connection with an admired author's work.

It is to be hoped that the students may be led to read other stories by the same and by different authors. A supplementary list of short stories has been added to the book for this purpose.


Acknowledgment for permission to use the stories printed in this book is gratefully made to Doubleday, Page and Company for "The Gift of the Magi" from Stories of the Four Million by O. Henry; to Hamlin Garland for "A Camping Trip" from Boy Life on the Prairie , published by Harper and Brothers; to Henry Holt and Company for "A Thread without a Knot" from The Real Motive , by Dorothy Canfield Fisher; to Charles Scribner's Sons for "Friends" from Little Aliens by Myra Kelly, and for the story, "American, Sir," by Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews; to Booth Tarkington for "A Reward of Merit" from Penrod and Sam ... Continue reading book >>

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