HE WAS WANTED TO HOLD THE JUG OF MILK
ROSAMOND RAN UP TO IT WITH AN EXCLAMATION OF JOY
THE GOAT DASHED IN AMONG THEM AND THE CHAIR WAS UPSET
IF LOUISA RECEIVED A NOTE, SHE CAREFULLY LOCKED IT UP
After our boys and girls have read the first half of this volume, containing selected and simplified stories from some of the greatest books of all time, their authors will cease to be merely names. Homer, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Cervantes and Bunyan will be found here as familiar and easy in style as “Cinderella” or “The Three Bears.” True enough, the first word in “Classic Tales” may look somewhat alarming to the eyes of youthful seekers after romance and adventure, but we challenge them to turn to any one of these selections from immortal masterpieces and not become spellbound and, moreover, impatient for more. And, believing now that they have grown very much interested in these famous books, of course we also believe they want to learn something about them.
Following the order of our stories we must begin with “Don Quixote.” Its author wrote it under great difficulties and distress; but one would never think so, as it is full of laughable doings. When you read our selections you must not think that Don Quixote was merely a silly old man, for indeed he was a very noble gentleman and tried with all his might to do what he believed to be his duty, and in no act of his life was there ever a stain of dishonor or of meanness. As for his queer fancies, you will find in your own experience that many things are not as they seem.
Next comes one of Gulliver’s voyages. Under all this account of a tiny race of people there is fun poked at government and its ministers. But we do not concern ourselves with such matters—all we think about is the wonderful deeds of Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians. Do not think such people are impossible, for did not Stanley, the explorer, find in Africa a race of dwarfs so little that he called them pygmies? And perhaps when some of our young readers grow up, they, too, may discover small folks in the world.