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FIRST FRENCH READER
CONTAINING A SELECTION FROM THE BEST
MODERN AUTHORS IN PROSE AND POETRY
A complete French-English Vocabulary
EDITED BY THE
REV. P. H. ERNEST BRETTE, B.D.
HEAD MASTER OF THE FRENCH SCHOOL, CHRIST'S HOSPITAL, LONDON
GUSTAVE MASSON, B.A.
ASSISTANT MASTER AND LIBRARIAN, HARROW SCHOOL
PAST AND PRESENT EXAMINERS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
LIBRAIRIE HACHETTE & CIE.
LONDON: 18, KING WILLIAM STREET, CHARING CROSS.
IN preparing this French Reader, the object of the compilers has been to strike out a new path away from the field where selections are generally made. La Fontaine, Florian, and Fénelon may be said to have been worn threadbare by the authors of school-books; and it is believed that Extracts, equally unobjectionable in point both of style and ideas, can be placed before young readers as well as the well-known classical Morceaux which crowd the pages of the old Recueils Choisis. With a few exceptions, therefore, the pieces collected together in the present volume have been supplied by modern writers, and they thus possess the advantage of novelty, besides that of real literary merit.
Care has been particularly taken to exclude, not only every sentence, but even every word, that could offend the most fastidious ear; and some of the pieces have been selected with a view to give to the pupils a sufficient knowledge of colloquial French.
The Vocabulary placed at the end of the volume will be found to explain all the words and idioms which might puzzle beginners.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
THE unprecedented success with which the French Reader has been received by the public was an additional inducement for the compilers to bestow special pains upon this second edition. The text has undergone a thorough revision, and several new pieces have been introduced instead of others which were deemed either too well known, or not quite suitable for young persons.
Following the advice of kind friends, we have enlarged the Vocabulary to such an extent, that pupils possessing only an elementary knowledge of French ought to be able to get through the volume without the help of a dictionary.