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a lu et longuement médité les meilleurs ouvrages de grammaire publiés tant en France qu'en Angleterre. Son livre est un excellent résumé de tout ce qu'on a dit de mieux sur la matière qu'il traite. Aussi est-ce le guide le plus sûr qu'on puisse prendre pour l'étude de notre langue. Après avoir consacré quelques pages aux lettres et aux sons, il passe en revue les voyelles, les diphthongues et les consonnes, il s'attache à montrer en quoi diffère la pronunciation française de la prononciation anglaise, et comme cette partie exigerait un volume entier, il termine ce chapitre substantiel quoique concis par cette observation pleine de justesse : “La prononciation d'une langue étrangère ne peut être parfaitement enseignée par les livres; il faut l'entendre de la bouche même des naturels du pays.” Viennent ensuite les parties du discours qu'il traite chacune d'une manière claire et suffisante. Sachant que la théorie sans la pratique ne donnerait que des résultats stériles, il a soin d'ajouter à chacun de ses chapitres un petit vocabulaire composé de mots français dont il donne la traduction, puis des exercices qui présentent l'application des règles, et que l'élève est forcé de traduire en français. Naturellement après cette partie élémentaire arrive la syntaxe, qui est développée avec beaucoup de tact et de savoir. Toutes les difficultés que présente notre langue sous le rapport de la construction y sont passées en revue. Enfin l'ouvrage est terminé par un petit vocabulaire des mots les plus usuels, chose infiniment précieuse pour les commençants, qui ne sauraient trop tôt se familiariser avec la nomenclature française.

Là ne se sont pas bornés les efforts de M. Magill. A sa Grammaire française il a cru devoir ajouter un autre volume qu'il intitule : “ An Introductory French Reader.Ce volume supplémentaire est d'une utilité incontestable, car il contient une foule de choses propres à lậter les progrès des élèves. On y trouve d'abord une série d'exercices gradués et pratiqués sur toutes les parties du discours et sur la syntaxe; des conversations familières ; puis un choix de morceaux tirés de nos meilleurs écrivains; viennent ensuite des notes explicatives tant sur les exercices grammaticaux que sur les morceaux littéraires; des observations sur la prononciation, et enfin un petit Dictionnaire français-anglais, dans lequel on trouve tout à la fois la prononciation figurée des mots et leur étymologie.

En résumé, les deux volumes qu'a publiés M. Edward H. Magill sont traités d'une manière claire, exacte et précise. La théorie et la pratique y marchent d'un même pas, et grâce à la simplicité et à la clarté de sa méthode, au choix varié et délicat des exemples, à l'ordre parfait qui règne dans ses deux volumes, le travail est tellement simplifié que les élèves trouvent un charme dans une étude qui d'ordinaire est fort peu goûtée des jeunes esprits.

BESCHERELLE, AÎNÉ, Ancien Bibliothécaire au Louvre, Auteur du Dictionnaire National

et du Grand Dictionnaire de Géographie universelle.


With the railroads, the telegraphic wires, the submarine cable, the means of locomotion of every kind, even to the two, three, and fourwheeled velocipede (for have we not seen quite recently a velocipedist, at the cry of Stop thief! stop thief !put to full speed his newly invented vehicle, and give chase to the culprit, forcing his way through a dense crowd, seizing him by the collar, and delivering him into the hands of the police), — with these powerful and ingenious means of locomotion and transmission, the languages have unquestionably acquired a new element of propagation. In this regard the French language is perhaps the most fortunate; for its universality, already for many years well established, is still more extended. It is in truth, to-day, if I may be allowed the expression, the mediator, the interpreter of the entire globe. All the sovereigns of Europe, all the chiefs of tribes even, came, on the occasion of the Great Exhibition of 1867, to visit the capital of France; and all, or nearly all, spoke the French language. As a proof of this assertion, we need only refer to the queen of Mohilla, who, although coming from realms the most remote, expressed herself, nevertheless, in our language, correctly, and even elegantly. We should not, then, le astonished to see daily increasing the number of works designed to extend and facilitate the study of languages in general, and of the French language in particular.

Such is the end proposed by Mr. Edward H. Magill, formerly professor in the Boston Latin School. In order to give thorough instruction to the pupils entrusted to his care, and to cause them to make rapid progress, he has composed expressly for them a complete course of French Grammar. This course of grammatical study, a copy of which the author has forwarded to us, requesting us to examine it and express our opinion of it, appears to merit the success which it has already attained.

The old author of the National Dictionary eagerly embraces the opportunity offered him to do justice to a foreign grammarian.

Let us begin by giving an account of Mr. Magill's French Grammar. This work, written in English, may serve at once the people of Great Britain and of America. Whilst learning the French language, they will see wherein the structure and the idioms of the two languages differ. It is a study of comparative grammar of the most attractive kind, fruitful in results, and which can but strengthen the pupils in the thorough knowledge of their own language. The plan followed by Mr. Magill is very simple, very clear, and very methodical. It is obvious


that he has read and carefully considered the best grammatical works published in France and England. His book is an excellent résumé of all that has been best said upon the subject of which it treats, and it is the surest guide which can be taken for the study of our language. Having set apart some pages for the consideration of the letters and sounds, he passes in review the vowels, the diphthongs, and the consonants, and proceeds to show wherein the French pronunciation differs from that of the English; and as this portion of the work would demand an entire volume, he closes this valuable though concise chapter by the following very just observation : “ The sounds of the French language must be heard from the master. They can be correctly learned only by hearing them from the lips of a native.” Next come the parts of speech, each of which he treats in a manner clear and satisfactory. Knowing that theory without practice would give but unfruitful results, he has taken care to add to each of his chapters a small vocabulary, composed of French words, of which he gives the translation; then exercises which present the application of the rules, and which the pupil is to translate into French. Naturally, after this elementary part, comes the syntax, which is developed with much tact and knowledge. All the difficulties which our language presents in the matter of construction are there passed in review. Finally, the work is concluded by a brief vocabulary of the most usual words, a very valuable thing for beginners, who cannot too early become familiar with the French nomenclature.

Nor do the labors of Mr. Magill stop here. To his French Grammar he has seen fit to add another volume, which he entitles "An Introductory French Reader.” This supplementary volume is one of unquestionable utility, for it contains very many things well adapted to hasten the progress of the pupils. We find there, first, a series of exercises regularly graduated, and adapted to all the parts of speech and to the syntax; familiar conversations; then a selection of pieces taken from our best writers; then come explanatory notes, both upon the grammatical exercises and the selections ; observations upon the pronunciation; and finally, a small French-English Dictionary, in which we find at once the indicated pronunciation of the words and their etymology.

In conclusion, the two volumes which Mr. Edward H. Magill has published are treated in a manner clear, exact, and precise. Theory and practice in these volumes advance with equal step; and, thanks to the simplicity and clearness of his method, to the varied and felicitous choice of his examples, and to the perfect order which prevails throughout his two volumes, the work is so simplified that the pupils find a charm in a study which ordinarily is very little relished by young minds.

Former Librarian at the Louvre, Author of the National

Dictionary, and of the Great Universal Gazetteer. PREFACE.

This Grammar is designed especially for a class-book, and not for a book of reference, and therefore contains only such matter as is to be thoroughly mastered by the student. It aims to exhibit the general principles of the language in rules clearly and concisely stated, and to render these familiar by sufficient illustrations. The exercises upon the rules are carefully selected English phrases and sentences to be rendered into French ; and the reverse process, of rendering French into English, in which the pupil has sufficient practice in his reading books, has been avoided.

Experience has taught that when a principle is stated abstractly, with the briefest and simplest illustration possible, it is better to require the student to apply it for himself, even at the cost of more time and labor at first, than to place before him numerous illustrations, which he is but too apt to imitate mechanically, as models, entirely overlooking the principle. The study of a modern language conducted upon the method here indicated becomes a source of discipline second only to the study of the ancient languages. Of course, it is very desirable that this study should be constantly combined with the oral instruction of a teacher to whom the spoken language is vernacular, or, at least, familiar. But even without this advantage, the study of the language in the manner above indicated will give the student a far better preparation to become, readily and rapidly, familiar with


the spoken language upon visiting France, than he could obtain by those mechanical methods which familiarize him with certain set forms and phrases, but leave him wholly incapable of any independent expression of his own thought.

At each step in the course herein pursued, a thorough familiarity with all that precedes is supposed, and to that end, frequent reviews are recommended; or, rather, each lesson should, as far as practicable, begin at the beginning of the book, that, when it is completed, the pupil may have entirely at command an amount of grammar sufficient to explain all the more common forms and constructions of the language. On finishing the First Part, or the Etymology, or even earlier, a simple reading book may be placed in the hands of the pupil, and he should be required to apply the principles which he has learned to the words in his reading lesson. Thus, a lesson in French, instead of being a mere initative and memoriter exercise, may be made an excellent means of drill and discipline.

Following the general principle of avoiding arbitrary and mechanical processes, and cultivating thought, the genders of nouns, the feminine of adjectives, and the conjugations of verbs are not given in the vocabulary when these may be ascertained by the rules and exceptions.

Particular attention is invited to the tabular view of the the irregular verbs. In this table the five primitive tenses, or principal parts, of the verbs are given, with which the student should be made perfectly familiar, and the other parts are readily obtained from these by the introductory rules. The inflection, in full, of the present indicative, which is the most useful, as well as the most irregular tense, is given by some grammarians. It is hoped that Tables I. and II., at the beginning of the list, with the explanatory rule, will be found of essential service, materially diminishing the difficulties and apparent irregularities which this tense presents.

The classification of the tenses into two great divisions,

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