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THE following work has been compiled at the repeated request of numerous teachers who, finding the "Principia Latina" the easiest book for beginners in Latin, are anxious to obtain an equally elementary French work on the same plan.
The main object of this book, as of the "Principia Latina," is to enable a beginner to acquire an accurate knowledge of the chief grammatical forms, to learn their usage by constructing simple sentences as soon as he commences the study of the language, and to accumulate gradually a stock of words useful in conversation as well as in reading. The grammatical forms are printed in conspicuous type and at full length, as no sound knowledge of the language can be acquired without the pupil being thoroughly familiar with these forms. It is the want of this sound grammatical training which is the chief objection to the systems of Ollendorff, Ahn, and similar works. But at the same time it is important that the pupil should be exercised from the first construction of sentences, so as to test by practical application the grammatical forms. The present work thus contains.
Grammar, Delectus, Exercise-book, with Vocabularies, and consequently presents in one book all that the beginner will require for some time in his study of the language.
A few simple rules of syntax are introduced, as they are required for the construction of sentences; but it is proposed to give the chief syntactical rules in another book in the series, which will form a Practical Introduction to French Prose Composition.
The compiler has consulted most of the books used in teaching French in German schools, and has derived especial assistance from Otto's "Französische Conversations-Grammatik," from which many of the examples are taken, as well as from the elementary works of Riedel and Keller. He also desires to express his great obligations to a friend, who is an eminent French teacher in one of our great Public Schools, and who has taken unwearied pains in the correction and revision of the work, thus securing it against those inaccuracies which a foreigner would otherwise be in danger of committing.