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In order to facilitate, in some degree, the familiar acquisition of so difficult a language as Latin, we have employed in this book those helps to the eye of accents and“ digraphs,” which the custom of three centuries has sanctioned, and which even the practised reader will not always disdain. In the Grammar and Lessons, which are supposed to be studied under the constant direction of the teacher, we preferred to dispense with these aids, that so the pupil, at the cost of a little more pains at starting, might be prepared to take up whatever edition of the classics might come to his hand; for the special uses of this volume, we think they will be found serviceable. In orthography, we have on principle admitted considerable freedom as to points which may be regarded as still unsettled; in general keeping to the best recent authorities, but aiming to habituate the eye of the student to those varieties of spelling he is likely to meet in a variety of authors and editions.
For the sake of those schools and classes to which the Reader comprises, practically, all the Latin ever expected to be learned, we have desired that this volume might enlarge and not belittle the notion of what a classic language and literature mean. The best
justification of classical study, after all, is not its value as a mere means of mental discipline, for which modern and scientific methods are to so large an extent coming to take its place; but that it combines that discipline with some guiding of the mind towards the higher interpretation of history, and the deeper lessons of human life. With this view, every firstclass name in Roman literature, excepting Livy and Horace, is represented in this collection; and special care has been taken, both in text and notes, to make
it a help towards a clear view of the course of Roman empire, at its most critical periods, from Scipio down to Trajan. Nor will it be held void of interest, that we have given, from Tacitus, Pliny and Suetonius, every notice to be found in classical antiquity of the early Christians; while, in Virgil's “ Pollio," and Cicero's correspondence with his friend Sulpicius, is afforded some hint of the level which the most cultivated Pagan thought had attained on religious themes.
While the reading most in vogue for beginners has of late presented Latin chiefly in its rhetorical composition and literary dialect, we have sought, by familiar letters and dramatic dialogue, to show it as a living tongue dealing with real things. The drollery and fun of Plautus, the graver humor of Terence, the easy and cheerful courtesy of Pliny's letters, the downright hard-hitting of Marius's speech before the people, seem to us a most desirable substitute for the weary and dreary narrative of the “ Gallic War,” as most boys find it. And while, in the case of Cicero, a vein of insincerity runs through most of his formal writings, even in his philosophical dialogues, where he tries to persuade himself that he is a single-minded searcher for truth, his letters bring us into an other atmosphere. His fond domestic feeling, the despair of his exile, his frank pride in his public welcome back, and his heavy heart refusing to be comforted after his daughter's death, show him in a more genuine and manlier way than the elaborate false pleading of the “ Milo,” or the polished hollow compliment of the “ Marcellus."
In the preparation of the text and notes, we have had in mind the needs of young students, not of mature scholars; following the best editions within our reach, and carefully comparing the more important various readings, while making no pretensions to critical editing of our own. * We have aimed, in the notes, not to depart from the immediate needs of the boy or girl of fifteen, for whose use this volume is especially designed ; desiring to help the student do his work, not to do his work for him; seldom translating a passage, but preferring to call his attention to the principle of construction involved, and then leave it for him to make ont the meaning for himself; consulting freely the great historians, chiefly Grote, Mommsen, and Merivale, but forbearing to load the page with masses of mere information, however interesting.
In preparing the Vocabulary, we have thought best, for many reasons, to make its range broad enough to cover the whole body of classical Roman literature, rather than any single selection of authors. For this object it has been read twice with every article in Andrews's large Lexicon, and most of it, besides, with the much more copious one of White and Riddle. To bring it within the compass of two hundred pages has required, besides the careful packing of each page and line, very large omissions. In particular, many classes of derivations and compounds, occurring rarely, or else quite obvious in their meaning; numerous words used in a purely technical sense by legists, grammarians, and naturalists; words of late or doubtful
* Besides numerous American school editions, we have chiefly used for Phædrus, Raschig and Siebelis ; for Cæsar, Doberenz; for Curtius, Zumpt, whose critical edition we have mainly followed ; for Sallust, Jacobs and Long; for Ovid, Haupt in the Metamorphoses, Ramsay, Paley and Siebelis in the Fasti; for Virgil, Ladewig ; for Cicero's Epistles, Frey, Hofmann, Hoffa, and Abeken (Merivale's version) ; for Tacitus, Nipperdey and Ritter. In a few cases we have referred [“ Hb.”] to the “ Handbook of Classical Geography, &c., prepared by T. P. and W. F. Allen."
authority, or else mere archæological curiosities; together with a few terms or meanings rejected on the score of decency, have been freely omitted. With this qualification, we think that the learner who has been taught so much of derivative forms and combinations as we have given here on a single page, need never be at a loss for the meaning or inflection of any word he is likely to meet in any classical author from Plautus to Tacitus; while this Vocabulary will be found peculiarly rich in terms of common life. It includes about 15,000 words, with the addition of about 1,300 proper names or adjectives and more than 200 dates, carefully selected, so as to make a convenient manual of reference, both as to the main points of ancient history (including numerous matters of Roman antiquities and politics), and as to those mythological allusions, which may be called the common stock of classical tradition. In this way, we have aimed to keep before the learner's eye some hint of the wealth and variety in diction of the language he is studying; while his judgment in the use of it will be better trained than by servile reliance on a mere list of words, however copious and redundant, prepared for his present convenience only.
The three volumes now before the public contain what may be regarded as a complete and sufficient course of Latin study for those who desire only a general acquaintance with the language ; and more particularly designed for those classes in Academies and High or Normal schools, which may be presumed able to give only one or two years to classical study. To such, it will be a tolerably full course of reading in itself; and, to others, a sufficient preparation for the many excellent editions of standard authors in current use.
For the aid of those who desire a more critical acquaintance with the language, and a more intimate knowledge, from original sources, of the most eventful period of Roman history, we have in preparation a Manual of Latin Composition, which may be looked for within a year, and an edition of Cæsar's Civil War, to be amply illustrated from the history and writings of his own time.