« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Translated from the French of the
THOMAS NUGENT, LL. D.
A NEW EDITION,
CAREFULLY REVISED AND CORRECTED.
SUCCESSOR TO MR. NOURSE:
M. DCCC. VII.
O illustrate the grammatical art, was the favourite em.
ployment of many of the greatest men of antient and modern times; but none deserves a higher commendation than the author of the following performance. This was the learned Claude Lancelot, member of the celebrated society of Port Royal, in the neighbourhood of Paris. He was born in that capital in 1613, and educated from the age of twelve in the seminary of St. Nicholas du Chardonnier, where he entered himself in the year 1627. After he had finished his studies, he retired to Port Royal, and was employed in the education of youth. This province he executed with the utmost diligence, and made such improvements in the art of teaching, as to draw up those excellent methods of learning the Latin, Greek, Italian, and Spanish tongues, generally call. ed The Port Royal Grammars. He is likewise said to have written the Jardin des racines Grecques, and, last of all, The General and Rational Grammar,
But of all our author's performances, the present work is generally reckoned to deserve the preference. The order and perspicuity that shine through the whole, and the profound knowledge of the principles and analysis of the Greek lan. guage, are not to be matched in any other writer. He had made an excellent use of the grammarians that went before him; and by his method he far outstripped them all. This consists in drawing up his instructions in vulgar idiom, as more easy than Latin to young beginners; in distinguishing necessary rules from others, by way of text and annotations; in retrenching superfluities, by reducing the ten declensions of former grammarians to three, and the thirteen conjugations to two; in disposing the tenses in such a manner, as to render it easier to ascend to the theme of the verb; in subjoining the dialects in their proper places; in comprehending the resolution of verbs within a few rules ; in rectifying and me. thódizing the rules of syntax, and observing similar con. structions between the Latin and the Greek; and lastly, in trcating the subject in a rational and critical manner, so as not
to proceed merely on the foot of authority, but to appeal like. wise to the reason and judgment of the scholar.
It is now about a dozen years, since I undertook to translate this work, at the desire of several members of our two learned universities. The many editions of the original abroad, and the several extracts and abridgments of it in most parts of Europe, were an encouragement to the undertaking. The success has answered, and I may justly say, exceeded my expectation ; when I consider that the transla. tion was printed at a time that I was in Germany, and inca. pable of superintending the press. It is true a person, known in the literary world, was employed for that purpose; but either through want of being acquainted with my handwriting, or through disuse of Greek literature, or through some other cause which I cannot divine, he suffered the work to go abroad too incorrect, I must own, for the use it was intended to serve. However, as the public have been so indulgent, as to accept it with all its faults, I must relurn them my thanks; and I hope I have made some amends, by the extraordinary care bestowed upon this second edition, The whole copy hath been carefully revised and compared with the original; the several errors have been corrected, and many passages altered and retouched, especially the preface, which may be said to be a new translation. The quo. tations from the classics have been also compared and corrected in a multitude of places. A strict adherence to the original has been observed throughout; except the rendering the rules into metre: for this not being an elementary introduction, but a complete system, if so I may express myself, of the Greek language, such puerile versification hath been judged improper:
With the revisal of this work I finish my translations of all the grammatical pieces of Messieurs de Port Royal *; a task, I own, of more labour than reputation : yet if my labour hath been of service to our British youth ; and if in this toilsome province, I may be also said to have deserved well of this most useful art, my ambition is satisfied.
* Except the Spanish Grammar: they are all printed for F. Wingrave, Successor to Mr. Nourse, in the Strand.
CONCERNING THE RESTORATION OF
AND THOSE WHO CONTRIBUTED MOST THERETO.
Some General Directions relating to the Method of Teaching
and Learning properly the Greek Tongue;
A Critical Account of the most celebrated Authors, whether
sacred or profane, who have written in this Language.
1. Of the ancients, that have treated of the Greek tongue; and of the difference between learning a living and a
dead language. I
PRESENT thee at length, dear reader, with my New
Method of learning Greek, which, though demanded hitherto with importunity, still (as I was desirous of rendering it at least as serviceable as that of the Latin tongue) I could have hardly been induced to publish so soon, if the repeated entreaties of my friends had not obliged me to it. The arduousness of the undertaking, and the consciousness of my incapacity, would have deterred me even from attempling it, had I not been engaged by superior authority. I should have been entirely silent, in order to make room for so many learned men, who have been, and are still employed on the same subject; but I was persuaded that this work, though inferior in merit to several others, would be perhaps aitended with some utility, as it is digested in a method entirely new, and has been allowed by some gentlemen, who have used it within these few years, to have been of very great service to them,