« AnteriorContinuar »
THE following Manual, prepared originally for some pupils of my own, is intended to succeed those easy exercises in Accidence and Syntax, which now usually accompany the first learning of the Latin Grammar, and to lead the student on to the point, where, the essential matters of grammatical construction and idiom having been thoroughly mastered, he begins to aim more definitely at the higher refinements of elegance and style.
Its distinctive features, as compared with other books of a similar kind already in use, are chiefly these:-1st, It is more compendious, and so adapted to a less protracted course of study than that which they contemplate; and 2d, it proceeds more speedily to the translation of continuous passages, an exercise which will be found to awaken in the pupil a much more lively interest and intellectual effort than the comparatively mechanical task of rendering according to rule detached and unconnected sentences.
It is divided into three parts:-the first elementary, consisting of exercises on the common Rules of Syntax; the second more advanced, having reference to those more difficult and more critical points of construction, which are but little touched on in most school Grammars; the third consisting of longer Exercises, for continuous composition.
In the case of those whose early grounding has been accurate and thorough, the first part may be passed over, or used only as a Praxis for revision, and the more advanced exercises entered on at once.
The "Introductory Notes on Syntax," which precede the Exercises, have been prepared with great care, with a special view to those main points, chiefly connected with the subjunctive mood, which are to young scholars the source of greatest difficulty and most frequent error. They have received the revision of one of the first scholars and most successful teachers of our time, the Rev. CANON KENNEDY, late of Shrewsbury, and now Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge, to whose kindness also I am indebted for other valuable assistance, which I have acknowledged on a subsequent page. For the "Notes on Idiomatic Differences" (pp. 36, seq.), I am myself solely responsible; while those on "Latin Style," which will be found at page 69, have been kindly prepared by James Macdonald, Esq., M.A., the able Rector of Ayr Academy, to whom, as well as to several of our other Scottish masters, my thanks are also due for valuable hints and suggestions.
While reference is made throughout to the Public School Latin Primer, as in my own judgment the best book of its class, and the only one which gives full instruction on all the points treated of, the present Manual may be used equally well in connection with any of our other school Grammars, in proportion as the information they supply is full and complete. To facilitate this use references are also given to the Rules of Syntax in the Edinburgh Academy Rudiments, now so well known and extensively used in our Scottish schools; and it will be found that the "Introductory Notes" supply the needed instruction on every essential point which is not treated of there.
To Scottish teachers it will not be needful to say anything. with reference to the Exercises by Dr. James Melvin, contained in Part III. Confessedly one of the first classical scholars of his day, and, more perhaps than any other man, the reviver in modern times of exact scholarship, and especially of Latin scholarship, in Scotland, the influence of his
spirit and method is still powerfully felt through all the northern counties, and more or less over a wider range beyond. To those out of Scotland, however, it may be proper to explain that his "versions" are intended mainly as exercises in the essential points of Syntax and Idiom, rather than in Latin style properly so called. They are therefore so framed as to admit of being translated into Latin without much change in the form of the sentence, or very great divergence from a literal rendering. His master principle, during the first stages of the student's progress, was rigid and absolute accuracy in grammatical construction; when that was attained, he might then proceed to the higher and then comparatively easy task of translating passages of approved English authors, after the manner of Cicero or Livy. As an introduction to such higher practice, some additional Exercises requiring a somewhat freer handling (Exer. 26-45), for which the "Notes on Style" already referred to are intended as a preparation, have been subjoined.
GLASGOW, April 17, 1870.
See an interesting tribute to the memory of this "Scottish Arnold," by Professor Masson, in an early number of Macmillan's Magazine.