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also meet with many others, no less interesting, and, at the same time, almost unknown in England.—The Editor will now proceed to notice the principle upon which the contents have been arranged, and the method which he has adopted, in order to render this work instrumental to the progress of students of the French language.

He has divided the book into two parts ;-the former containing prose, and the latter poetical specimens, carefully copied from the best French editions. In the classification of both divisions, the position of the extracts has been, in some degree, determined by the progressive difficulty of each ;-excepting such occasional deviations as were needful in order to avoid monotony. The authors are not, therefore, uniformly ranked according to their respective merits, nor even according to the relative epochs at which they flourished, nor to the comparisons or connexion which might be established between different writers,—although these considerations have been continually borne in mind :- :-so that the selections may be regarded as a sort of literary macédoine.* The Editor has endeavoured to adapt the text to the capacity of students in every stage of attainment, by the addition of explanatory notes. In these, which will be found at the end of the volume, he has rendered into English such difficult phrases, or idiomatic forms of expression, as might otherwise perplex the young learner.


* Macédoine is a modern French term, which literally signifies a salad, or a mixture of different vegetables.

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the body of the work, the passages which are thus elucidated, are printed in italics, with alphabetical letters affixed to them ;-so as to correspond with the explanatory notes, by means of similar letters, and the titles and pages of the pieces to which these passages belong. This plan the Editor considers greatly preferable to that of interpreting the words individually. It is certainly of much importance for the student of a language, to habituate himself to consult the dictionary for the signification of such words as he can easily discover, and thoroughly understand, by that means. Learners who are wholly assisted by an explanatory index, are liable to acquire inaccurate ideas respecting the true value of words, by confounding the primitive with the secondary, the literal with the metaphorical, signification. On the other hand, a dictionary acquaints the learner with their various meanings and synonymes :—the examination enlarges his vocabulary, and expands his ideas of language ; and his ingenuity and judgment are constantly exercised in ascertaining the appropriate signification of the words which he investigates. Moreover, by placing the notes at the end of the work, instead of introducing them at the bottom of the page, a considerable benefit is secured to young students. Their indolence will not be fostered by having the explanation at once before their eyes ;-they will have time for reflection and scope for the acquisition of dexterity; -and, as the doubtful passages must be retained in the memory until the explanation has been consulted,


they will probably, for that very reason, be more thoroughly understood, and more forcibly brought to their recollection.

As far as the plan of the work allowed, it has been attempted to multiply the objects of critical observation, by placing in apposition passages treating of the same, or directly opposite subjects :-it will, therefore, be easy to contrast one author with another, and sometimes, indeed, to compare the same writer with himself. These parallels and contrasts, will not be wanting either in interest or in usefulness ;-as they will afford the student an opportunity of estimating the genius and the skill of different writers, and will awaken his attention to the inexhaustible resources of style and of thought. The charm of such comparisons and contrasts is neither confined to the world of nature, nor of art; it is felt to an equal degree in the pursuits of literature ; and, by the interest which it excites, as well as the solid advantages it secures, becomes one of the most powerful and welcome auxiliaries of the diligence of the instructor.

With respect to the orthography, it has not been considered advisable to follow the example of those compilers, who have chosen to modernize the spelling of the earlier authors. Although the standard generally termed the orthography of Voltaire is almost universally subscribed to in France, and—having been sanctioned by the authority of the French Academy is recommended and employed by the Editor himself ; he has, nevertheless, deemed it his duty to preserve with the utmost exactness, the form used by the several writers whose works are introduced in this collection. He is of opinion, that any alteration of this kind is an injury to the author ;—that he ought to be presented in the mould which he has himself chosen, and, as it were, in his peculiar costume, which marks the period at which he wrote ;-in short, that to deprive him of this, in order to replace it by another, is to disguise or travesty his original character.

Under the heads of literature and morality, this work contains a series of the best compositions, both as to style and subject, which the French language possesses ; and such as are the most eminently calculated to improve the taste, and cultivate the intellectual qualities. The traces of genius, of talent, of virtue, will be found impressed upon all the fragments in this collection ;-which have been chosen, no less for their literary merits, than for the admirable precepts they convey. In these, the student will behold the French language in all its purity: he will be enabled to form his taste upon the most exquisite models, and thus, also, acquire a general acquaintance with the different styles of the best authors. will not meet with a thought, or a word, calculated to offend the most sensitive delicacy, or the sternest moral sense; nothing, in short, which could awaken a dangerous or an improper idea :—on the contrary, he will find the exercise of the highest talent, dedicated to the advocacy of the noblest interests.—The greater part of the passages collected in this work are in France considered classical ; and as such, in public as well as in private courses of education, put into the hands of young people of both sexes, who generally learn them by heart; a method of acquisition strongly recommended by the most eminent professors, both of the present and of past times. As the pieces are principally short, in order that they may excite, rather than fatigue, the attention of the young reader, they can easily be committed to memory ;-a plan which the Editor feels persuaded will be attended with great benefit. Passages thus learned, become firmly impressed upon the mind, and supply, as it were, the moulds or forms into which thought afterwards runs, when it is attempted to be expressed ;so that, if the models thus adopted be all of high excellence, they must, almost necessarily, exercise a strong influence in producing a correct and elegant mode of composition and expression.

Every exertion which the zeal of the Editor could suggest, has been 'used to impart to the contents of this collection, both in form and in arrangement, all the interest and usefulness of which it was susceptible ;-and he trusts that it will adequately supply the want, which has long existed, of such an epitome of French literature. After the description which has already been given of the plan and character of the work, it is hoped that Professors of this language, the Heads of Schools and of Families, will feel no hesitation in placing it in the hands of young persons of either sex.

It will furnish those who have not the

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