Immagini della pagina


but, “How may good common English be best represented in Latin forms?” We would thus suggest a comparison not

? merely of the words or the constructions, but (so to speak) of the genius and spirit of the two tongues, which, we are convinced, is the true way of appreciating what is most characteristic and best worth knowing in the ancient authors.

With this view, the passages to be rendered into Latin are freely selected from the sources which seemed suitable to our purpose.* It will be observed that we have very early intro

* duced continuous paragraphs or narratives ; which, we believe, are not only more interesting in themselves, but will be found easier in practice than detached sentences, besides the advantage of exhibiting the rarer constructions in situ, and not as mere isolated puzzles. The extracts have been very carefully selected, with a view not to anticipate constructions not already given; or, where this is inevitable, it is hoped they are sufficiently helped by notes and vocabulary, while they are accompanied in every case by full preliminary instruction.t

The earlier of these extracts are chiefly anecdotes from Roman history, or other matter within a range already familiar to the pupil. In the later ones we have been obliged to introduce, here and there, modern material and ideas. These, it is likely, will tax more severely the pupil's knowledge and capacity; but it seems evident that the more intricate constructions of Latin prose can be best understood when we meet them from our own point of view, and find the need of them to express our own forms of thought. It should be understood that the difficulties they include are those of the language itself; and it is best to meet them fairly at the start, rather than evade or disguise them. There is no such thing

* Of these we may specify Smith's “Smaller History of Rome," and Sargent's “Easy Passages for Translation into Latin."

† It may be worth while to suggest that the teacher may at his pleasure select single passages or phrases for elementary practice.


as making a Ciceronian period or an indirect discourse in Cæsar or Livy an easy thing to boys; and the student is not fairly master of them until he can to some extent follow and reproduce them in his own work. The difficulties may,

however, be lightened to any extent, at the discretion of the teacher, even to the extent of going over in detail the whole ground of each exercise in advance.

It will be observed that a Vocabulary has been prepared to Part First only; and that this aims only to give, as a simple mechanical convenience, the Latin terms which may be used in the passages where the English ones actually occur in the book, leaving the mind free to attend wholly to the construction. The learner should be impressed from the start with the need of habitually consulting his Latin Lexicon, to obtain the true meaning and use of the terms he employs. Such explanation as could be given in a partial vocabulary would be at best of very doubtful service. Even if on some grounds. desirable, the need of it appears to be removed by White's excellent“ English Latin Dictionary for the use of Junior Students,” which within reasonable limits of size and price furnishes a guide such as every learner should possess, who aims at any thing better than the mere performance of the required task of the day; while the more advanced student will not be content without something at least as complete as the larger work of Kerchever Arnold. The design of Part Second obviously excludes the use of any partial or special list of words. For this, we trust that the

. suggestions of the Introduction, and the frequent assistance given the notes, — with the faithful consu ation of the Lexicon, which must always be supposed, - will prove a sufficient guide.

CAMBRIDGE, May 10, 1876.

The following works, which have been freely used in the prepa. ration of this manual, will be of service to those who desire to give the subject a more thorough study. Those marked 2, 3, 4, have been used to some extent as text-books in this country.

1. Theorie des lateinischen Stiles, von C. J. GRYSAR. 2d ed. Köln: J. G. Schmitz. 1843.

A very complete and elaborate treatise, the source from which ex• cellent material has been largely drawn by others.

2. Hints towards Latin Prose Composition. By ALEX. W. POTTS. 3d ed. London: Macmillan & Co. 1872.

A brief but admirable essay on the main points of Latin style and expression (without exercises), with a great number of brief illustrations, some of which will be found in the introduction to Part II. of the present manual (pp. 126-129).

3. Parallel Extracts, arranged for translation into English and Latin, with Notes on Idioms. By J. E. Nixon. Part I. Historical and Epistolary. London: Macmillan & Co. 1874.

An excellent working manual, the passages on opposite pages suggesting points of comparison between Latin and English style, and with numerous figured references to the introductory Notes.

4. A Manual of Latin Prose Composition for the use of Schools and Colleges. By the Rev. HENRY MUSGRAVE WILKINS. 3d ed. London: Parker, Son, & Brown. 1861.

Numerous exercises, very fully annotated, a portion being "adapted (in English) to the Latin idiom. With introductory remarks and a table of idiomatic expressions. A Key is published for the use of teachers.

5. Principia Latina. Part VI. Short Tales and Anecdotes from Ancient History for translation into Latin Prose. By WILLIAM SMITH, D.D. 3d ed. London: John Murray. 1870.

« IndietroContinua »