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AUTHOR'S PREFACE

TO THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION.

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In the year 1843 I received a letter from two English scholars, suggesting to me the necessity of a new translation of my Latin Grammar, and requesting my assistance in the undertaking. Until then I had not been aware of the fact that the existing translation, which had been made from the third edition of my work (of which, however, it was not an exact representation, as some portions of the original were omitted), had remained in its original condition ; and although it had gone through several editions, yet had not been adequately improved and corrected, while the German original, by continued labour on my part, had, in its details, become quite a different work. This information was, of course, a sufficient reason for me to promise my best aid and co-operation in the new translation ; for whatever considerations may have induced my learned translator to allow my work to be printed again and again in its first and imperfect form it was to me a matter of the highest importance, that a nation which so highly prizes the study of philology, and takes so deep an interest in its progress, should be

, presented with my work in the best and most perfect form that I am able to give to it. It is unnecessar here to enter into the question why the plan of a new translation was not carried into effect by those gentlemen who originally proposed it to me ; but I was hap

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py to hear that ultimately the execution had been intrusted to Dr. L. Schmitz, who, I feel convinced, has done all that can be desired, both in point of correctness and good taste.

The Latin language is so rich and happy in its organization, and has been so consistently developed by the energetic spirit of the Roman people, as well as by the exquisite tact of the Roman authors, that a continued study of it is amply rewarded. It is now upward of thirty years that I have been before the public as a writer on Latin Grammar ;* my varied studies have always led me back to this subject, and I may truly declare that, during each fresh revision of my grammar, when I was engaged in incorporating with my system the observations I had made in the mean time, and in considering the doubts and objections which had been raised in my mind, I have become more and more convinced of the inexhaustible mine of human wisdom which presents itself in the language of a happily-organized nation like the Romans. I am not speaking here of the accidental matter contained in a grammar, nor of the accumulation of similar passages—it will afford far greater pleasure to the pupil to discover for himself, in the authors whose works he is reading, passages which confirm or illustrate the rules he has learned-nor of niceties of expression, for these are curiosities rather than anything else ; but I mean real philological discoveries and peculiarities, which arise from the organic structure of the language, derive their explanation from it, and, in return, throw light upon the

* The first foundation of the present work was laid in a book which I wrote for the use of my pupils under the title “Regeln der Lateinischen Syntax, mit zwei Anhängen über die Grundregeln und die nach einem neuer System geordneten unregelmässiger Verba,” Berlin, 1814, 8vo

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whole fabric of the language itself; and the result of all this is, that the general principles are better ascertained and established. It is owing to these continued studies that even the present translation of the ninth edition of my Latin Grammar has been enriched by some not unimportant improvements, which I have communicated in MS. to Dr. Schmitz; and it will henceforth be our united endeavour to remedy every deficiency that may yet be found.

My Latin Grammar has met with great favour, or, as the phrase is, " has been a very successful book," as I must infer from the number of editions and copies that have been sold; but this success has not weakened my exertions in labouring without interruption for its improvement. An author is himself rarely able to point out that which has gained for his production the favour of the public ; he is satisfied with being able to labour for the realization of his own ideas ; a

; comparison with the works of others does not concern him, nor would it be becoming to him.

But he can state the principle which has guided him throughout his work; and, in reference to the present grammar, this principle is no other than the desire to trace the facts and phenomena of the language to a philosophical or rational source. The facts as such must first be established; and in this respect it has been my endeavour to examine the texts of the authors, and not to allow myself to be misled, as has been so often the case; by erroneous traditions ; farther, to distinguish between the periods of the language, the different species of literary productions, the ancient and genuine from later and affected authors, and by this means to ascertain that which is essential and peculiar to the purest Latin idiom; but, in so doing, I have not left unnoticed those

; points which must be regarded as frequent, or otherwise justifiable deviations from the ordinary rules. It is only those things which do not grow forth from the living body of the language that must be passed over in silence. In order to separate that which is genuine and ancient from what is arbitrary or recent, I have adopted the method of distinguishing between text and notes, the one being printed in large and the other in small type: a distinction which will, I think, be useful also to the teacher. Another great point which I have always endeavoured to keep in view has been a rational development of the rules from one another. By this, however, I do not mean a demonstration of the principles of universal grammar; that is, of those principles which are common to all languages. I value this branch of philology, as a sort of applied logic, indeed, very highly ; but my opinion is, that it can be studied with advantage only by those who are acquainted with the languages of different nations, both civilized and uncivilized ; and I have confined myself to explaining the peculiarities of the Latin language and its characteristic differences from the modern European languages of Roman and Germanic origin, referring only now and then to its connexion with the Greek. But it is my endeavour to reduce these

. peculiarities of the Latin language to simple and precise principles, to proceed from the simple to the complex, and to distinguish that which is in accordance with the rules from that which is of a mixed nature. What I here say refers more particularly to the syntax; for, in regard to etymology, it ought not to be forgotten that the Latin language is something which has

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