Immagini della pagina







The vital words and deeds
Of minds, whom neither time nor change can tame.

- SHELLEY: The Revolt of Islam.






AUGUST 4, 1941

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886, by

E. T. TOMLINSON, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

J. S. CUSHING & Co., PRINTERS, Boston.



LIGHT-READING is no longer a disputed point with

the best Latin teachers. The time was, and not long since, when nearly all the energy and time of the student were devoted to the acquisition of much that aided and more that hindered the intellectual life. No man could believe more thoroughly than the editor of this book in-the accurate and complete study of Latin grammar in the preliminary work as the foundation of future growth and power. But he is, nevertheless, strongly of the opinion that there is a marked difference between memorizing the grammar and knowing the grammar. There must be constant, careful, thorough drill in grammatical forms, rules, and principles. But the ready application of acquired knowledge has a twofold influence, - it crystalizes and condenses knowledge already possessed, though perhaps in a dim and general form, and in addition is a valuable discipline in and of itself. The best Latin teachers are agreed, I think, that sight-reading and a re-composition of translations of standard and select passages are among the best and surest means of leading pupils into the language.

The selections used in this book have been chosen with

a view to several purposes. Connected passages not too difficult for the ordinary pupil have been used in the main, because such Latin is standard. The short, impossible Latin sentences so frequently met with, lack not only the flavor but the essential features of good Latin. Solid

blocks have therefore been cut from the work of the


The selections from Cæsar's Civil War ought to be within the power of those who have anything of a Cæsarian vocabulary. The selections from The Latin New Testament I had some hesitation in using, as the Latin is not of the purest; but, as has been well said, exhilaration is a necessary quality for successful sight-reading in class, and as the Latin is easy and the passages familiar, I have used them more for the purposes of inspiration than careful study. They ought to beget confidence, and confidence impart power. The passages from Cicero and Vergil are intended to be adapted to any Latin classes at all advanced in the field. Teachers will readily determine the portions best adapted to their particular classes.

To secure the advantages of the connected passages for continuity of thought and study, and at the same time to have some passages short and crisp for brief reading, the one hundred and twenty-five selections for either oral or written work have been added in the latter part of the book. These have been, for the most part, selected from the writings of Cæsar, Cicero, Vergil, Ovid, Livy, Horace, Tacitus, Eutropius, Nepos, and others.

The text which, in the main, has been the basis of the longer selections (the editor using his right to follow occasionally the opinions of other scholars than the editors of the text) has been : of Cæsar's Civil War, Nipperdey; of The Latin New Testament, Beza; of Cicero's Letters, Baiter and Kayser; of Vergil's Æneid, Ribbeck.

The spelling throughout the book is not uniform. This is to be noticed in the use of i and j, and o and u. In order to be consistent with the editors whose texts have been used, this course has been followed. It was necessary to be either inconsistent with itself or its sources. The former involved the fewer difficulties, and has been adhered to.

The synonymes have not been used for the most critical study, but merely to be as suggestive as possible to the student, and enable him to read, in a reasonably correct manner, all the Latin possible. The ordos, too, have been designed, not as critical notes, but as an occasional aid in translation.

As the aim of the entire book has been more for sightreading than critical study, geography and kindred subjects have been crowded into the background, and some editors,

« IndietroContinua »