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In the Preface to the First Part, which was originally published separately, it was stated that the Author's first idea had been to bring out a new and improved edition of Tarver's “French Exercises," a book which had been long in use at Eton College, but that this idea had been entirely abandoned, and the whole work rewritten from beginning to end ;' that the plan of arrangement of verbs in classes drawn up in paradigms, capable of being taken in at a glance (pages 38-41 inclusive) had alone been retained.'
Attention was also called to the fact, that although sixteen models of verbs were given, numbered 1 to 8 and lettered a to h, it was not intended to affirm that there are more than four conjugations of French verbs : this plan was adopted solely with a view to avoid the difficulty and confusion resulting from referring pupils for all their verbs to four heads only.
The First Part, from pages 1 to 238 inclusive, contains the Accidence rules and exercises, with complete Vocabulary for those exercises, and an Appendix on genders and accents (pages 197–238). This Part has now been in use at Eton (and in other schools) for upwards of five years, and, as far as Eton is concerned, has been found to work well. The Second Part (pages 239–486) contains Syntax rules and exercises drawn up on the same plan and, as far as was considered expedient, in the same order of subjects as the Accidence rules and exercises, with the addition of a complete Index to Part II. (pages 487-493).
The Author's intention in compiling this Second Part has been to give to English students a grammar as complete as the excellent works of Poitevin and Noël and Chapsal, which, however, are better fitted for more advanced students and for much smaller classes than those of a public school like Eton. It is hoped that all the matter contained in the above-mentioned French Grammars will be found in this edition, with the addition of a great deal of matter not contained in them, and which is of essential importance to English students.
The Author would particularly call attention to the rules on the Past Participle (pages 378-387), and to the chapter on Numerals (pages 291–298). A few etymological explanations have been given (notes to pages 299, 310, 311, 318, 325, 345), and some idiomatic uses
of such words as en and y (pages 311, 312), que (pages 331–334); but space would not allow of those branches being more fully treated, and they can be better studied in the special works written on such subjects.
The Author cannot conclude without acknowledging how much he is indebted to the excellent works of MM. Littré and Brachet—the newly completed Dictionary of the former, and the • Dictionnaire étymologique' and 'Grammaire historique’ of the latter; and especially to a not much known but invaluable work, the Grammaire des Grammaires' of Ch. P. GiraultDuvivier (Paris, 1814), a work often cited in M. Littré's Dictionary
ETON: September 1873.