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POÈTES FRANÇAIS;

OR,

Selections

FROM

THE BEST FRENCH AUTHORS,

With an Introduction of Easy Pieces,

ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER,
FROM THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV. TO THE PRESENT DAY.

WITH

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES,

BY

LÉON CONTANSEAU,

A

PROFESSOR OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE AT THE ROYAL
INDIAN MILITARY COLLEGE, ADDISCOMBE ; AUTHOR OF A PRACTICAL

DICTIONARY OF THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH LANGUAGES, ETC.

NINTH EDITION.

LONDON:

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

1865.

THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

904064A
ASTOR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

1937

LONDRES

DE L'IMPRIMERIE DE

SPOTTISWOODE ET CIE.

NEW-STREET SQUARE

PREFACE.

In studying a language, it is essential to have correct and elegant examples for imitation; and the examples must be such as offer both interest and entertainment to the pupil, in order that his attention may be awakened and maintained. .

Keeping this object in view, my aim in forming the present compilation has been to present to the youth of England a series of extracts from the most eminent writers who have adorned French literature, from the age of Louis XIV. to the present period. The greater part of these extracts have been selected from authors belonging to the present century, for the purpose of making the student acquainted with the French language as it is now spoken and written; and their arrangement in a chronological order will serve to demonstrate the great idiomatic changes which the language has undergone within the last thirty or forty years, as may be perceived in the writings of Châteaubriand, Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Dumas, and others.

This compilation begins with a selection of more simple and easy pieces for beginners, to serve as an introduction to the body of the work

661

A few scenes from the best of Molière's Comedies have been added, with the view of familiarizing the student with idiomatic expressions; and the volume closes with a selection from the best French poetry, intended for the use of persons who have already attained some knowledge of the language. These extracts may be used for recital with great advantage, as being undoubtedly one of the most efficient means of acquiring a correct pronunciation and accent.

I hope it is almost needless to mention, that in the selection of extracts care has been taken to introduce none into this volume but such as have a good moral tendency.

L. C.

ADDISCOMBE,

June, 1854.

Aunt Hannah,
Died in a Spasm

Of Acute
Chronic Altruism !

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