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TO BE TRANSLATED.
The principal aim (1) of those who write for the instruction of youth should be the gentle cultivation of their tender minds, and the inculcation of such principles as will fertilize them, and cause them to produce good and wholesome fruits.
The happiness of mankind depends so much upon this, that no trouble should be thought too great to oblain such a desirable result.
Moral subjects, maxims, etc., are highly essential; but they should be administered with caution ; they should be sweetened and distributed in a general mass of interesting matter, so that the children may not taste the least tincture of bitterness or ennui which might cause them to endure, rather than to enjoy, instruction. They should be seduced, rather than driven, into the path which is to lead them to happiness.
Convinced of this important truth, I have endeavoured to render my little book at once useful and agreeable, and to offer, at the same time, amusement and instruction ; which are far from being incompatible.
(1) Aim, but, intention.
This work is equally adapted for beginners, for those who have already made some progress in the language, and for those who wish to perfect themselves. It contains a quantity of highly interesting and authentic matter, and a great variety of style.
The accompanying notes will elucidate what might otherwise appear obscure, and spare the trouble of perpetually turning over the leaves of a dictionary.
Beginners should make a double translation; the first, word for word, according to the text; the other according to the French construction : this will enable them to remark and retain the striking differences in the syntax of the two languages, which should be strongly impressed on the memory. In the second translation, tbe whole phrase should be considered before a word of it is rendered; the ideas must be given in correct French, and by comparing the two translations the student will soon learn to express his own ideas in English.
We request our pupils not to be alarmed on seeing a considerable quantity of verse in our work, nor to consider the recital of poetry as superfluous in learning a foreign language : it is, on the contrary , a very powerful auxiliary, and, if judiciously employed, greatly instrumental in preventing and in curing the monolonous,
unnatural and narcotic drawl (1) which so many persons , in reading , inflict upon authors and hearers.
The Poetry has been selected with the greatest care;
(1) Narcotic drawl, un ton trainant , soporat?f.
iij it embraces the most interesting subjects, described in the most harmonious or the most energetic manner, by the most celebrated poets who have illumined the literary horizon of Great Britain or shone there in meridian splendour. I have therefore presumed to call it a selection of the choicest Leaves , Buds, Flowers and Fruits from the inost delicious gardens of British Poetry.
Poetical compositions offer in general more difficulties to the translator and the student than ordinary prose; because the brilliant imagination of a true poet, when he vaults on the back of his Pegasus , disdains to rein in (1) his noble steed, or to confine him to the beaten path (2). He lays the reins upon his neck, and soon leaves the admiring and astonished spectators far (sometimes perhaps too far) beneath.
I have heard , but cannot vouch for the truth of it, that some one said to the celebrated de Lamartine : "Mais, monsieur, vous êtes trop sublime; vous prenez un essor tellement élevé, qu'on ne peut s'approcher de vous.” To this observation M. de Lamartine is said to have replied Que l'on monte ! moi je ne descends pas.
Thus the language of poetry scorns to be restrained within the narrow and arbitrary bounds that grammarians prescribe for the regular construction of dis
Its brilliant gems are disposed where they will produce the most striking effect; and so judi
(1) To rein in, retenir.
ciously arranged that each preserves its relation to the other, and the whole harmonious combination charms the senses, refines and elevates the mind, and leads us often through a valley of fiction to the temple of TRUTH.
The chief poetic licenses consist in judicious inversions, in abbreviations, and in the free use of melaphor (1): we therefore advise the student, whenever he may find himself embarrassed, to decompose the phrase, and reform it according to the most simple rules of syntax. Let him seek the subject, the verb and its complement, and he will obtain a clue (2) to lead him through the labyrinth. He will find considerable assistance in the notes at the bottom of each page; and in a choice of highly interesting matter, we have endeavoured to conduct him, by a very agreeable road, through a journey which he may recollect with so much pleasure, that he will perhaps be disposed to recommence it, or, at least, to recommend it to his friends.
PERCY SADLER. Paris, 81h June 1833.
(1) Metaphor, métaphore , figure de rhétorique , mots em: ployés dans un sens figuré.
(2) A clue, un fil pour guider.
CHILDREN AMONG THE GOT HS.
The children were , from the tenderest (1) age, accustomed to all the severities (2) of cold , fatigue, and hunger; they were taught to handle arms, to pursue wild animals , to swim across the broadest rivers, and to fight naked with offensive weapons. At the age of fifteen , their strength and experience qualified them to be admitted to the rank of men and to take station in the army.
Upon this occasion, a particular ceremony was observed; they received a sword, a lance and a buckler, and were told that from (5) that moment they were to consider themselves their own masters, and that they must
(1) Tenderest, le plus tendre. En ajoutant est aux adjectifs , on forme le superlatif. Voyez Grammaire pratique, 38.
(2) Les noms qui en français finissent en té, se terminent en anglais par ty au singulier, et par ties au pluriel.
(3) La préposition from indique le point du départ.