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THE BOYS AND GIRLS OF AMERICA
IN WHOSE INSTRUCTION
IT HAS BEEN THE AUTHOR'S PLEASURE
TO SPEND MANY OF HIS HAPPIEST HOURS
IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED
WITH THE HOPE THAT IT MAY PROVE AN
INSPIRATION AND AID
NOT ONLY TO HIS PUPILS
BUT ALSO TO MANY WHOM IT MIGHT NOT OTHERWISE
BE HIS PLEASURE TO SERVE
THERE is probably nothing which gives such keen delight to the ordinary student of Latin, or tends so much to stimulate interest in its literature, as the occasional study of passages that glow with beautiful expressions of thought, or embody in terse and pleasing form the wit and wisdom of the age in which they were written. The mind is naturally attracted by the beautiful; and that which tends to awaken interest in the subject of research, as every teacher knows, is one of the most effective and unfailing aids. It is with this end in view that the present volume has been prepared, and it is offered to the public in the hope that it may prove as helpful to others as it has to the author in his efforts to awaken in his students a love for the beauties of Latin literature, as well as deepen and broaden the field of their conception and research.
In the arrangement of the ordinary course in Latin, the first four years is commonly apportioned somewhat as follows: Beginning Book and Grammar, Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War, Cicero's Orations in the Senate, and Vergil's Aeneid; and so closely and exclusively is the course pursued that not a few pupils have been known to leave school at the end of the course with the idea that there were only three Latin writers, and that they had read them all. It requires but a moment's reflection to observe that such a course as the one just described is about equivalent in breadth, interest, and richness of thought to a course like the following for a foreign student desiring to enter upon a four years' study of English: Beginning Book and Grammar, Grant's Memoirs of the Rebellion, Clay's Congressional Speeches, and Milton's Paradise Lost. If to this should be added a year of Shakespeare and a year of Tennyson, we should perhaps have a college course in English of about the same quality and breadth as that commonly pursued in Latin.
We have no disposition to criticise the ordinary course in Latin, which has now become somewhat conventional, and which, with certain modifications, is doubtless as good, all things considered, as any that might be suggested. We do, however, maintain emphatically that the course should be so supplemented by constant reference to other writers and the study of choice and interesting passages from their works, that the student may thus become in a measure familiar with them, may know of their principal writings and the chief characteristics of their style; and above all may thus acquire a taste for Latin literature and a desire to pursue a more extended and thorough course of classical study during subsequent years.
There are many who, for various reasons, do not continue the study of Latin more than two or three years; and such receive comparatively little that is really rich in thought, unless their attention is raised above the details of Gallic warfare or carried beyond the forensic eloquence of the Forum. If the student has only a few years to spend in the study of Latin, it is so much more important that he be introduced to as much rich Latin thought as possible. If he is fortunate enough to pursue a more extended course, he will enjoy the greater benefits from the inspiration and interest thus early developed. In either event the disposition to continue the study of the classics is certainly much strengthened and the appreciation of their beauties greatly increased.
In this collection no pretense is made to completeness, for that would be impossible considering the rich and almost boundless field from which these fragments are gathered. The present volume is simply the outgrowth of work begun in college days, and added to during subsequent years of classical reading and study. In rendering the passages an effort has been made, as far as possible, to express the thought in clear and forcible English, but not in such a way as necessarily to indicate the construction of the original. The student, therefore, while having something to guide him to the sense of the passage, will still find sufficient scope for individual attention.
The Scriptural selections which are given will be found to embrace the choicest and most familiar portions of the Bible, selected from the Latin Vulgate, with no other aim than the general interest of the reader. They are always interesting, but rarely found in form accessible to