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DE

POÉSIE FRANÇAISE;

OR,

CHOICE SELECTIONS

FROM

THE BEST FRENCH POETS,

ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER,

FROM THE NINTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY:

WITH

A TREATISE ON FRENCH VERSIFICATION,

AND

HISTORICAL, GEOGRAPHICAL, LITERARY AND

GRAMMATICAL ANNOTATIONS:

By C. J. DELILLE,

(Membre de l'Athénée des Arts, de la Société Grammaticale et de l'Institut Historique de Paris.)

Professor of the French Language in Christ's Hospital, the City of London School,
the Western Proprietary Grammar School, the City of London and Marylebone

Literary and Scientific Institutions, and

FRENCN EXAMINER IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.

LONDON:

WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE-MARIA-LANE.

1841.

(Price 68.)

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PRINTED BY RICHARD AND JOHN E. TAYLOR,

RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET.

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PREFACE.

Of all auxiliaries to the acquirement of a good pronunciation in the study of the French language, the most rapid and effective is undoubtedly the practice of recitation. For this valuable and pleasing exercise, the poetical chefs-d'ouvre of the literature of France offer peculiar advantages, as the distinctness of articulation required, especially in classical poetry, to express with propriety all metrical compositions, added to the necessity of a due observance of those emphatic intonations of the rhythm so justly called mots de valeur of French versification, must necessarily produce that purity of accent and correctness of utterance which it is so important for the pupil to attain.

With this conviction, the result of many years' experience in teaching, and for the purpose of bringing together a selection of subjects suitable for recitation, the present compilation has been prepared.

But besides this desirable object, the volume will be found, from the chronological arrangement of its contents, to gradually familiarize the student with the rise and progress of French poesy. Extracts from the earliest productions of the Muse in France, the songs of the Troubadours,

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are first given, then the choicest treasures bequeathed by Corneille, Racine, Boileau, Molière, etc., and these are followed by some of the most pleasing stanzas of Victor Hugo, Lamartine and other living poets.

In the distribution of the contents, it is however important to observe that the selections designed for recitation commence with the literature of France of the seventeenth century; those of a previous epoch, being merely inserted as historical specimens of the gradual growth and development of poetry in France, are comprised within the Introduction. In the seventeenth century the French language was formed, and, notwithstanding the innovations of the ultra-Romantiques of the modern school, it is still, in substance, the same eloquent idiom created by the genius of Pascal, and rendered imperishable by the galaxy of talent that distinguished the glorious era of Louis XIV.

The Leçons et modèles de poésie française being intended as a sequel to the Editor's Répertoire littéraire, or prose selections in the French language, the same care has been exercised in cull

a “ The Répertoire littéraire' presents a series of extracts from the most celebrated French authors, from Pascal to Châteaubriand and Victor Hugo; and includes specimens of almost every variety of French prose composition. The notes of the compiler, which evince much learning, taste, and discrimination, will materially assist to a perfect understanding of the authors which they illustrate, whilst they point out several striking analogies, both in thought and expression, between the productions of French writers and the classical compositions of antiquity. The selection, throughout, is as judicious as the elucidations are just and appropriate; and we have much pleasure in recommending this excellent work to our readers, as

ing extracts adapted for academies and classical or other institutions, and it is hoped that they will be found of equal utility in the instruction of

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admirably calculated to facilitate the improvement of learners, and as being at the same time replete with interest to all admirers of French Literature.Literary Chronicle.

“ The · Répertoire littéraire' is one of the best-constructed school books we have yet seen, and we happen to know that it is used with the best possible effect.”—Evangelical Magazine.

We congratulate the French student on the appearance of a second and much-improved edition of the above very useful and clever work. It has been said that none equal the German scholars in collecting the materials of a book, or the French in putting them neatly together. M. Delille has the merit of combining both qualifications in a high degree. The collection of the matter must have cost him considerable research, and he has certainly arranged it with all the felicity of his countrymen. This work is of a much higher order than the Recueils choisis' of former days. To a judicious selection from the most celebrated writers of France, there is appended a glossary of uncommon words and phrases, as well as a succinct but very accurate notice of every author cited. Indeed the latter property must recommend the book even to the scholar and private gentleman, as there are few writers, ancient or modern, from whom M. Delille has not selected some choice morceau. The chapter on the progress of the French language (which is traced as far back as the ninth century) deserves the attention of the philologist; and we have no hesitation in recommending the 'Répertoire' as not only by far the most philosophical of French school books, but as a safe and convenient guide to the student of French literature."The Christian Re. membrancer, or Church of England Magazine, for September 1839. Extrait du rapport fait à la Société GRAMMATICALE DE Paris.

Séance du 5 juillet, 1836. “ LE RÉPERTOIRE LITTÉRAIRE.—Ouvrage fait avec talent et conscience, et présentant un choix très-heureux de pièces en prose extraites de nos bons auteurs anciens et modernes, et enrichies de notes explicatives sur l'histoire, la géographie, la littérature et la grammaire.

“ Bernardin de St.-Pierre semble avoir inspiré M. Delille dans la composition de ce recueil.

6. On apprend, dit-il, dans ses Harmonies de la nature, “aux

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