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DES

ÉCRIVAINS FRANÇAIS,

Auciens et Modernes.

OUVRAGE CLASSIQUE,
a L'OSAGE DES COLLEGES ET DES INSTITUTIONS.

PAR

V. DE FIVAS, A.M., LL.D.

Membre de plusieurs Sociétés Littéraires.

NEUVIÈME ÉDITION,
Augmentée de Notes Historiques, Géographiques, Philosophiques, Littéraires,

Grammaticales, et Biographiques.

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Paris : CHEZ L'AUTEUR, VILLA VICTORIA.

Londres : SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & Cie.
Edimbourg. OLIVER & BOYD); ET, J. MENZIES.

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“This is a work which was much wanted, and which will not fail of proving highly acceptable to the youthful student. The exertions of M. De Fivas to furnish a selection, suited to youth of both sexes, have been crowned with success, and we most warmly recommend it to all who are studying the French language, and to those to whom the education of youth is more particularly entrusted.”—La Belle Assemblée.

“ Exceedingly good samples of the French style, and of elegance and purity of language. We recommend the work as both amusing and instructive."-Literary Gazette.

A very neat, judiciously selected, well-arranged, desirable volume, containing a large quantity of excellent matter."- Court Journal.

“ An elegant volume, containing a selection of pieces both in prose and verse, which, while it furnishes a convenient reading book for the student of the French language, at the same time affords a pleasing and interesting view of French literature."--Observer.

“A most interesting and instructive work, calculated equally for the school and library. The biographical sketches are spiritedly executed, and the whole design is filled up in such a manner as to give us entire satisfaction.”-Chronicle.

“ This work is replete with that enticing variety so desirable in publications of this kind. French teachers, and those who wish to attain a knowledge of that polite language, will find it a valuable acquisition. It is edited with care; the accents and grammatical construction are such as are war. ranted by that celebrated literary parliament, the French Academy."Free Press.

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ENTERED IN STATIONERS' HALL.

PRE FACE.

In the composition of this Volume, the Editor has aimed at more than an ordinary compilation : His ambition has been to produce a French Reader of a high order, adapted to Educational Establishments of either sex.

In giving a private lesson to an adult pupil, a master may read any book—any of the fashionable novels of the day, if the pupil should so incline ; but, in teaching a class of young persons, the case is different, a work of this nature then becomes indispensable—youth must be guided. In effect, as the wise and learned ROLLIN remarks, by presenting to the curiosity of young people only what is unexceptionable in authors, we enable them to guard afterwards against the faults and errors inseparable from the works of men.

It may here be observed, -that, in France, compendiums, and extracts from the best writings are extensively used in education.

In preparing this publication, the utmost circumspection has been exercised in the choice of the pieces,

each of which presents a subject complete in itself, and illustrated by explanatory notes when any difficulty occurs. In selecting from all literary periods, the Editor's object has been to enable the reader to form his judgment and taste by a comparison of the various and different styles of writing. This work is thus a faithful mirror of French literature, ancient as well as modern, and will form, either for the drawing-room or class-room, a course of reading not less instructive than agreeable.

MOLIÈRE is acknowledged by all critics to be the greatest comic writer that ever lived. In this volume will be found the best scenes of his prose productions. They are not given here from predilection for the drama, but with the view of making the student familiar with perfect models of conversational language, enlivened by exquisitely witty repartees, affording, at the same time, a rich and abundant store of pieces for recitation. With the same end in view, the Editor has also introduced a few striking passages from other distinguished dramatic writers. By this plan, masters will be spared the trouble of having recourse to numerous volumes, and the pupils saved considerable expense attendant on procuring them.

The fables of LA FONTAINE are also admirable subjects for recitation. Several of them are inserted here. Their uniform excellence rendered the selection a task of no small difficulty ; for, of nearly three hundred fables which that great fabulist has composed, upwards of two hundred and fifty of them are masterpieces, while the remainder are only very little inferior. From their first appearance so great has been the attraction of these fables, that they have been committed to memory by old as well as by young. In a letter to her daughter, the accomplished Madame DE SÉVIGNÉ writes :

66 N'avez-vous pas trouvé jolies les cinq ou six fables de La Fontaine, qui sont dans un des tômes que je vous ai envoyés ? Nous en étions ravis l'autre jour chez M. de la Rochefoucault ; nous apprimes par cœur celle du Singe et du Chat." And, the celebrated critic LAHARPE, in speaking of this same fabulist, observes: “ Il n'y a point d'écrivain qui ait réuni plus de titres pour plaire et pour intéresser. Quel autre est plus souvent relu, plus souvent cité ? Quel autre est mieux gravé dans le souvenir de tous les hommes instruits, et même de ceux qui ne le sont pas

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