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This work, in its present arrangement, will be found to combine the following advantages:
1. Exclusive of the Introduction, and considered merely as a book of reference, it is indusputably superior to any preceding edition of Adam's Latin Grammar, on account of its typographical neatness and accuracy. The Publisher, Mr. STARR, has spared neither pains nor expense to render the work correct, and worthy of general patronage.
2. The Exercises and Excerpta Latinè, in the Introduction, will supersede the necessity of purchasing, and putting into the hands of boys, larger and more expensive books. To the student the Exercises will serve as an introduction to the Grammar, and the Excerpta as an introduction to the classics. To render these the more valuable, examples of all the different kinds of verse have been selected from Horace, and the scanning marked according to the best authorities.
3. The Introduction will enable the student to commence his task with parsing, and thus lead him to understand the definitions of Etymology and the Rules of Syntax, previous to his committing them to memory. These parts of Grammar should always be studied simultaneously, because they mutually explain and illustrate each other; and parsing, which exemplifies the meaning and application of the definitions and rules, is an exercise of the utmost importance to the pupil, and should accompany, pari passu, his progress through Etymology and Syntax. The declensions of Adjectives, Nouns, and Pronouns, the conjugation of Verbs, the nature and use of Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections, are more easily learned and more readily understood by parsing, than by committing to memory the various rules and explications of the Parts of Speech. The best method, for instance, to make the pupil understand, and consequently remember, the declensions of Adjectives and Substantives, is to place before him an example of those declensions, and set him to parsing Adjectives and Substantives. He will then readily see the distinctive properties of these two parts of speech, and also the meaning of the rule, "Adjectives agree with their Substantives in number, case, and gender." It is parsing, therefore, which illustrates Etymology and Syntax, and which indelibly impresses these two parts of Grammar on the memory of the pupil; and, consequently, the sooner he begins parsing, the easier will his task be, and the more profitable his labours.
4. By means of the Introduction, not only the understanding, but the eye also, is rendered subservient to the memory. It is undoubtedly true, that we commit to memory with more facility, and retain, for a greater length of time, what we understand, than what we do not understand; and it is equally true, that impressions received through the eye are more vivid and permanent than any others.
quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus, et quæ Ipse sibi teadit spectator.
"Those things forcibly affect the mind which are submitted to the faithful eyes, and which the spectator delivers to, or teaches himself." This doctrine will hardly be questioned by any one who has ever studied geography, and observed how much brighter and more durable are the impressions of what he learned from the map, than of what he learned from the book. The comparative size, course, situation, and importance of the principal rivers, lakes, mountains, and cities, are remembered, and easily called to mind long after the description and account of those rivers, lakes, mountains, and cities are totally obliterated from the memory. To take advantage of this hint, and yet not render the size of the book unwieldy, the octavo form has been preferred, as combining the greatest utility with the least inconvenience. Page 10th presents a map of all the regular declensions of Substantives, and page 11th of the declension and comparison of Adjectives. The declensions of Pronouns, and the conjugations of Verbs, are exhibited in the same manner in subsequent pages. All the principal rules are placed on the margin, in a body by themselves; and, after they have been once exhibited in detached views, they are repeatedly exhibited at a single view, in order to make the impression more distinct and connected.
IN September last, I announced to the publick my expectation of publishing, in November following, a new work, entitled "Adam's Latin Grammar Simplified, by Allen Fisk, Esq." but, owing to a combination of unforeseen circumstances, its publication has been unavoidably delayed until the present time, to the no small detriment of my reputation for punctuality, and to the disappointment and vexation of the numerous applicants for the work; who, being acquainted with the important improvements making in the various departments of the arts and sciences, and with their advance, consequent upon such improvements, towards perfection, are anxious to avail themselves of such helps as may be afforded in teaching youth the important science of Latin Grammar.
In presenting the "Latin Grammar Simplified" to the world, after so long a delay in its publication, I owe it to my disappointed patrons, and to my own reputation as publisher, to mention some of the causes which have operated to effect this unhappy delay.
Owing to the carelessness or ignorance of printers and proof-readers, in copying, in each succeeding edition, the errors of its predecessor, and adding thereto a long catalogue of new ones, there could not be found a copy of Adam's Latin Grammar sufficiently correct to print from. It became necessary, therefore, to employ a person, (Mr. Fisk being out of the city,) of sufficient leisure and ability, to undertake its correction, in order to render it deserving of publick patronage, and a credit to myself as publisher. For this purpose, Mr. Joseph Osborn, of this city, a gentleman well known as combining in himself, with a cultivated classical education, the advantages of many years' experience in proof-reading, was engaged; and to him the publick, in a good degree, is indebted for a tolerably correct copy of a Latin Grammar. In addition to the delay occasioned by the want of this corrected copy of Adam's Latin Grammar, a still farther delay has been occasioned by sending the proof sheets, after being read and corrected by Mr. Osborn, to the author at Troy, to be read and revised by him, which was done in order to divest the work, if possible, of every error, even the most trifling. To secure for the succeeding editions the corrections thus obtained, by this immense labour, and at this great expense; and, in order to provide for the correction of any errors which may yet be discovered, without the possibility of creating new ones, it was found necessary to stereotype the work. These, with several other causes too numerous and trifling to mention, have combined to prevent the prompt publication of the work at the time proposed. With this development of the causes which have effected this unhappy delay, I trust that I shall be exempted from censure; and that, by possessing a Latin Grammar comparatively correct, and that can easily be read, instead of one so erroneously and slovenly printed, as to be scarcely legible to the young and vigorous eye, whose every nerve must be strained to its utmost powers, to store the mind with erroneous words and sentences, the publick will be amply remunerated for the heavy taxes which have unavoidably been levied on their patience.
How far the author may have succeeded in facilitating the attainment of the highly important and ornamental branch of a refined education, designed to be taught by the use of this work, and in rendering the study pleasing and interesting to the pupil, I am not prepared to say, never having witnessed it in operation; but, judging from the effects produced by the use of "Greenleaf's [English] Grammar Simplified," to which, in a considerable degree, it is conformed in its arrangement, I cannot but entertain very sanguine hopes of its ultimate success in the hands of judicious and able instructers. One thing, however, is certain; viz. that nothing will be lost by giving it a trial; for, should the introductory part fail of accomplishing the object contemplated by the author, the purchaser will still have by far the best copy of Adam's Latin Grammar,
(commencing at folio 67) extant; one that can be read with ease, and that is tolerably correct; which cannot be said of any other edition now offered to the publick.
In addition to the satisfaction to be enjoyed by possessing a well printed and correct copy of Adam's Latin Grammar, there is another advantage to be gained by the purchase of this edition, and that is on the score of economy. The numerous extracts from the Latin Classics will supersede the necessity of purchasing several books to be used for exercises, which will effect a very considerable saving of expense in the purchase of books.
Should the "Latin Grammar Simplified" prove successful in aiding and assisting the teacher in imparting, and the pupil in obtaining, a knowledge of the important science of which it treats, my satisfaction will not arise solely from the prospect of receiving a pecuniary compensation for my labour and expense, but it will be a source of gratification to reflect on my being, in any way, instrumental in accomplishing so desirable an object as that contemplated in the publication of this work: but, should my hopes and expectations prove abortive, by its failure of success, I shall console myself under the disappointment, and endeavour to bear my loss with a degree of cheerfulness, from the reflection, that its failure cannot be attributed to the want of exertion, on my part, to render it deserving of publick patronage, and that the discerning will know how to appreciate the well-meant services of a member of this enlightened republic, although the contemplated object should not be attained.
That this work should meet with the unqualified approbation of the whole community, especially as it is of American origin, is not at all to be expected; nor can it be supposed that open enemies will not be found. Fulton, and his apparatus for steamboat navigation, have their enemies; and the same may be said of all the plans which have ever been divulged for the moral, intellectual, or political improvement of mankind, in all ages; particularly when such improvements are calculated to interfere with the interest of the individual whose prosperity depends on the destruction of such improvements.
With these few observations, which the long delay in the publication of this work, and its peculiar nature and importance seemed to require, the "Latin Grammar Simplified" is cheerfully submitted to an enlightened publick, for their approbation and patronage, or condemnation and rejection, by the
New-York, 16th April, 1822.