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JAMES DONALDSON, Esq., M.A., LL.D.,
RECTOR OF THE ROYAL HIGH SCHOOL OF EDINBURGH,
(THE LAST OF MY EDUCATIONAL COURSE)
AS AN EXPRESSION OF RESPECT FOR HIS EMINENCE AS A
TEACHER AND A SCHOLAR,
BUT ESPECIALLY AS A TOKEN OF GRATITUDE FOR
HIS UNFAILING COURTESY AND KINDNESS
TO HIS MOST OBLIGED SERVANT,
EDINBURGH, September 1875.
It is a very well known fact that French has become an indispensable part of a liberal education. It is now taught in all the principal Colleges and Schools of Great Britain.
Considering, therefore, the importance of his task, it is the duty of the teacher to adopt a method, in teaching this branch of education, which will enable the pupil to make rapid progress, and at the same time to acquire a thorough knowledge of the language.
My object has been to produce a book which shall keep alive the learner's interest by the variety of its contents, and at the same time initiate him into the peculiarities and niceties of the French language by a series of pieces, which have been carefully selected, from a moral as well as a literary point of view. Special attention has been bestowed on their arrangement, so that they may increase in difficulty as the student advances in proficiency.
My long experience as a teacher has enabled me to produce a book which will, I am certain, facilitate the work both of the teacher and of the pupil.
The book is divided into Three Parts. The first Two Parts are a collection of humorous anecdotes, chiefly from the French, which I have translated expressly for this work. They are consequently new to the English student. The Third Part consists of well-selected pieces from some of the
of the best writers, such Shakspeare, Carlyle, Gibbon, Sheridan, Scott, Dickens, Longfellow, and Tennyson.
The First Part may be put into the hands of pupils who have already been one or two years in French. Copious and suitable Notes will be found at the end of the book in connection with this Part.
The pieces of the Second Part are longer and a little more difficult. The Notes of this part are differently arranged. The infinitives alone of the verbs are given, and are printed in capital letters; the teacher will require his pupils to
learn by heart all those verbs for every lesson given out. The Third Part is for very advanced pupils;
; the Notes in this part differing also from the others. As it would often be impossible for the pupil to make sense, in French, by a literal translation, I have so arranged these Notes that the master may obtain from his pupils both a literal and free translation.
Numerous grammatical notes will be found at the bottom of each page of the Fourth Part.
The “Partie Française,” or Key, published separately, contains a free translation of all the pieces in the English part. It is intended for the use of teachers, and also for private students, who may need its aid in the correction of their own exercises.
With these prefatory explanations, and hoping this book will be as favourably received as my other works, I submit it to the candid judgment of my professional brethren and of the public.
EDINBURGH High School,