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COMPREHENSIVE FRENCH BOOK,
THE PRINCIPAL RULES OF PRONUNCIATION
WITH ALL THEIR EXCEPTIONS,
RULES ON THE ACCIDENCE WITH THE CONJUGATION OF ALL
THE FRENCH VERBS, REGULAR AND IRREGULAR,
THE LITERAL TRANSLATION OF A GREAT NUMBER OF FABLES,
NUMEROUS ENGLISH EXERCISES COMPOSED WITH WORDS
TAKEN OUT OF THE LITERAL TRANSLATION,
NEARLY ALL THE FABLES WHICH FÉNELON WROTE FOR THE EDUCATION OF
THE DUC DE BOURGOGNE,
A SELECTION OF LA FONTAINE'S FABLES,
OF ALL THE WORDS CONTAINED IN THEM.
J. DELPECH, B.A.
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FRANCE, LATE RÉGENT DE COLLÉGE,
FRENCH MASTER AT CHRIST'S HOSPITAL.
Id imprimis cavere oportebit, ne studia qni
PUBLISHED BY RELFE, BROTHERS,
TO THE SECOND EDITION.
In preparing this edition for the press, I have only made such alterations of, and additions to, the original, as, from its daily working, I have judged necessary to increase its efficiency.
Up to the publication of the first edition, in May, 1866, no one on the Continent or in England had attempted to reduce to sixteen pages a complete system of pronunciation of the French language, which all grammarians in this country treated rather as a dead than as a living language. To my knowledge the years 1867, 1868, 1869 have each produced at least one French educational book in which the rules of pronunciation, with all their exceptions, are given. May I not consider this as the best proof of the utility of the system, and rejoice at it for the sake both of myself and of those who use my book ? For surely imitation is the best flattery.
Christ's Ilospital, London,
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
In publishing the “ BEGINNER's COMPREHENSIVE French Book," my object has been to provide schools with a work which might advantageously supply the place of the four books indispensable to every beginner, viz., an Elementary Grammar, a Book of Exercises, a Reading-Book, and a Dictionary.
In this I hope that my efforts will be found to have been in some degree successful. But I have had another, and no less important, aim in view ; I have endeavoured to make the study of French an attraction ; as children require such an inducement to enable them profitably to pursue a study, which is often forced upon them, and they should not be repelled by the dryness of the first lessons.
To secure this, I have adopted the following plan: From their first lesson our young pupils can be made to understand, by the help of a literal translation, one of those beautiful fables which Fénelon, the goodhearted and clever Archbishop of Cambray, wrote for the education of the Duc de Bourgogne, when he was only ten years old; or one of the easiest fables of La Fontaine, which all French people know and all their children stammer out. Instead of giving as exercises sentences taken indiscriminately and from miscellaneous sources,