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THE TEXT ON THE HISTORY OF FRANCE, AND AN INTRODUCTION TO THB
LANGUAGE, ARE ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.
By C.-J. DELILLE,
PROFESSOR AT CHRIST'S HOSPITAL; THE NAVAL SCHOOL, GREENWICH HOSPITAL; ST. PAUL'x,
LONDON UNIVERSITY AND THE COLLEGE OF ETON.
WHITTAKER AND CO., A VE-MARIA-LANE.
The style of those compositions which form our first study in learning a language, becomes firmly impressed upon the memory, and supplies, as it were, the moulds or forms into which thought afterwards runs when it is attempted to be expressed. “Les choses qu'on apprend par coeur,” says Rollin, “s'impriment dans la mémoire, et sont comme des moules ou des formes que les pensées prennent lorsqu'on les veut exprimer.” Hence the importance of selecting from the literature of the language to which we devote our attention, the compositions of those writers who offer the purest models for imitation. By this means we are habituated to a correct and elegant phraseology, and at the same time enrich our minds with just and noble sentiments.
Under the influence of this conviction, my object in the Répertoire des prosateurs français is to present a series of extracts from the works of Fénelon, Pascal, Massillon, Bossuet, La Bruyère, Buffon, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Barthélemy, and other illustrious writers who have adorned the literature of France from the Augustan age of Louis XIV to the present day. The great idiomatic revolution which has taken place in the language within the last quarter of a century has made it imperative to dwell largely on the modern authors, especially the historians, and for the purpose of illustrating fully the variety and peculiar characteristics of their style, the present edition exhibits a succession of eloquent narratives, from the recent and celebrated productions of Châteaubriand, De Lamartine, Victor Hugo, Guizot, Thiers, Ségur, Michaud, Lamennais, Jules Janin, Alfred de Vigny, etc. The narratory and descriptive selections, either historical or romantic, are chiefly intended for the practice of Recitation, which, of all auxiliaries in instruc
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