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MODERN FRENCH READER.
THE REV. P. H. ERNEST BRETTE, B.D.,
OF CHRIST'S HOSPITAL, LONDON ;
PROFESSOR CH. CASSAL, LL.D.,
OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON ;
THÉODORE KARCHER, LL. B.,
OF THE ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY, WOOLWICH;
FORMER AND PRESENT EXAMINERS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON,
TRÜBNER & CO., 60, PATERNOSTER ROW.
275. n. 237
In compiling this Reader, our object has been to put into the hands of the student of our language a book of FRENCH
AS IT IS SPOKEN AND WRITTEN AT THE PRESENT DAY, and further, to arrange the materials in a strictly progressive order.
Experience has taught us, -- as it has taught most of our fellow-teachers, whom we have been able to consult that beginners, even children, ought to be put to reading and translating at the outset, indeed with their very first lesson. Now, the translation of detached and unmeaning sentences wery intelligent master admits to be a most wretched method, which takes up much valuable time without any adequate result; it discourages the youing, nuy, it disguststhem. Moreover, it paralyses the original power's of the instructor, who is thus compelled to become a mere repeater of wearisome and senseless formulae.
Hence arises the necessity of a booli written in good! plain modern French, simple and easy for beginners.
But French literary productions, even those intended for juvenile readers, however unpretending the style of the author, will always and necessarily contain idiomotie expressions and forms; these, although not offering any difficulty to the native, are almost invariably al serious embarrassment to a foreign beginner. In order to obriuli this inconvenience and to graduate with certainty, we have ourselves written most of the first part of this Reader. The Junior Course, therefore, opens with a series of anecdotes composed in such an easy style that the merest tyro can master them. Then follow pieces and extracts increasing in difficulty at almost every page, up to the latter portion of the Senior Course, which is destined for advanced pupils. To this progressive arrangement we have had no hesilltion in sacrificing all other classifications.
To carry out the object we had in view, we have abstained on principle from giving notes and rules of pronunciation. Notes are obviously of no real service to the student if he has a master. Ile wenture to maintain that
they are eren detrimental; in the preparation of the lessons, they are merely copied, give rise to endless mistakes, and not unfrequently foster idleness. As for rules of pronunriation, they cannot but be numerous anii complicated, ure seldom read, and still more seldom understood. Pronunciution is never well taught except by the ear; it is therefore the province of the teacher, and this publication is intender neither for master's nor fur persons who study without a
In our selection of extracts, we have confined ourselves 10 modern, it might almost be said to contemporary, authors. French thought and the way of expressing it differ widely in the present day from the ideas and style of the lust two centuries. The student of such a literature as that of France cannot pretend to master it by means ofextracts; such a pretention would be not only objectionable, but ridiculous. When he linows the language thoroughly, he тату be left to this owninclination to make himself acquainted not with hackneyel extracts, but as far as possible with the whole of the works of the great classical writer's whom France las produced, and who, be it rememberell, date from before the era of Louis XIV. For younger pupils, we deem it far more profitable to show them how Frenchmen of our own age think and speak. The usual classical selections, nearly always the same in every Chrestomathie or Anthologie generally belong to what is callid