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3. I have long felt that the treatment of the Tenses of the Greek Verb in those Greek Grammars which have the widest circulation, is defective and unsatisfactory. I have waited for years in the hope that one better qualified than myself would introduce some improvement, but as I hear of nothing and know of nothing which satisfies me, I have undertaken to supply the want. So far as I have succeeded, I owe all the success to my honoured friend and some time tutor, the Rev. F. W. Harper'; so far as I have failed, I have only myself to blame.
4. Though it be considered an unpardonable crime to simulate the translation of the untranslateable –άτλητα τλήναι-yet I hold that in learning a new language it is of the last importance that a boy should attach some meaning to every word he uses, and that it is better he should translate such word inadequately or even inaccurately than that he should be using words as mere sounds sounds which are to him little better than musical (?) notes void of any sense whatever?.
1 Author of The Powers of the Greek Tenses and other Papers. Cambridge, 1841.
My friend, Mr Roby, in his Latin Grammar, goes upon an exactly opposite principle-he gives no translation of the Paradigms of the Subjunctive and Infinitive, because “the usual translations correspond to but few of the uses of either.” But upon this principle what can you translate ? “Even kal is not the same word as and," as Professor Conington observes very truly.
5. I believe few are aware what a very serious hindrance small type and indistinct printing are to a boy who is beginning to learn a new character and a new language. With the single exception of Dr Smith's translation of Curtius all our elementary Greek Grammars seem to me to be printed without any regard for the tyro, who as yet scarcely knows a Ę from a $, and who will every hour be likely to confound v with v.
Impressed by these convictions, and feeling very strongly the need for some Manual for beginners which did not labour under the objections indicated above, I set myself at last to compile the following pages.
I believe they will be found useful to beginners in Greek, and I have no higher ambition than to supply a useful book for intelligent boys and their teachers. The days may come, and probably will, when a new language will be taught in a very different way from the present, when a more elaborate (must I say more scientific?) method will be pursued; but, in the mean time, it appears to me we must content ourselves with a compromise of some kind or other, and while we are not yet ripe for revolution, be willing to accept any small contribution in the direction of reform.
THE SCHOOL HOUSE, NORWICH,
20 December, 1864.
ELEMENTS OF GREEK GRAMMAR.
OF THE GREEK LETTERS, THEIR PRONUNCIATION
You are particularly requested to correct the fol
lowing errors before using the book.
Page 43, line 12, for oů, of himself or herself,
write oi, of him.
write ös, he who (qui).
write deiva, a certain one (quidam).