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THE 'HESE notes are intended to meet the difficulties of
English public-school boys in learning French, especially to make French and Latin go hand in hand, and to suggest to teachers how complete a text-book La Fontaine's Fables really is in many ways ; for comparing French with Latin, ancient with modern phrases and idioms, colloquial with grammatical expressions, the origins of the language with its present development.
And further, where French conversation cannot be directly taught, La Fontaine's Fables offer the advantage of familiarizing readers to some extent with the language of conversational dialogue, a merit that makes the books of Messrs. Erckmann-Chatrian such useful instruments for teaching the French of common life to English boys in English schools.
Again, where lessons are few and far between, there is a great incidental advantage in using a book in which you can each time finish your subject.
For some of the notes I am indebted to M. AiméMartin's edition, Avec des notes de tous les commentateurs, published by Messrs. Firmin Didot, Paris. For some I have to thank my friend and colleague, Mr. J. W. J. Vecqueray.
The Latin derivations are mostly taken from M.